Short essay on the Foreign Policy of Pakistan
Pakistan in terms of population statistics is the second largest Muslim Country after Indonesia; it is also the only Muslim country with the status of being a nuclear power and hence plays an important part in International Politics. Pakistan has a direct, independent foreign policy specifically when it comes to developing nuclear weapons, military purchases from foreign countries and other issues which are important to its national interests. Pakistan has a great advantage of having a strategic geo-political location in the center of the world’s major maritime oil supply lines, and is located near the oil rich central Asian states. Pakistan is also an essential member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and a vital non NATO ally in the War against terrorism. The state also has a highly orderly military; in fact it is the world’s eighth largest military force.
In history Pakistan has had difficult relations with India, specifically because of the central issue of Kashmir; it has even fought two wars because of this reason. Conversely it has had strong allied relationships with its other neighboring countries like Afghanistan, Iran and China; it has also had solid security and economic interests in the Persian Gulf and long stretching two-sided relations with US and other Western states.
Because of the suspicion of Soviet expansion, Pakistan has had strong relations with both United States of America and China during most of the Cold-War. Even today they are close friends of the nation. Coming to the Foreign policy of Pakistan well it is centered on the peace and security objectives at regional and global levels; its main purpose is socio-economic progress of the state. In affirmation with the UN charter and international duties Pakistan seeks alliance and tries to cooperate in its foreign relations on the grounds of sovereignty, respect and benefit, noninterference and peaceable settling of conflicts.
Pakistan’s foreign policy is guided by its colorful history, its strategic location and the aims of its people. It has a proactive foreign policy, due to the challenges it faces, even though there is little continuity, change at times is also given importance. The policy at times is reactive to international happenings. The main objectives on the foreign policy include development of good relations with Muslim states, superpowers and neighbors as well, to protect the security and strategic interests of the nation, to aid the resolution of the key conflict of Jammu and Kashmir according to the needs of the Kashmiri people and the UN resolution, to promote a progressive, democratic image of Pakistan and finally to promote the state’s economic and commercial interests.
Historically the country has had friendly relations with all Arab and Muslim countries under the OIC organization. Other than Muslim and Arab countries China and US area also allies of Pakistan. Coming to its Rivals, Pakistan has fought 3 wars with India, while Pakistan an Israel have no diplomatic relations. The continuing conflict of Kashmir is what creates diversity of opinion and makes alliance very difficult in both these rival states.