Stable economy pivotal for pervasive, successful foreign policy
The stable economy is pivotal for pervasive, successful foreign policy; result oriental foreign policy needs wise strategy of government, and foreign policy failures lie in untimely decisions made by the decision makers. This was unanimously resolved by speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard in Karachi. The meeting was held on the theme: “Our foreign policy, accomplishments? Failures?” presided over by Justice (Retd) Haziqul Khairi. Mrs. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan was also present in the meeting.
Guest speaker and educationist, Prof. Talat Wizarat said: “India has crossed all limits of sanity in India-held Kashmir as more than 8 million humans are facing house arrest through continuous curfew. They are deprived of food and other basic necessities. Kashmiris are determined people but there is a limit of tolerance”, she said and endorsed government’s decision to call off all trade relation with India. She pointed out that some miscreants were involved in smuggling precious gems such as emerald to India in huge quantity and India through value addition earning hefty amount. Our government must stop this by all means, she stressed. While suggesting that religion should not be mixed with international relations, she pointed out that East Timor gained independence in just ten years of struggle meanwhile Kashmiris’ struggle completed seventy years and still unsuccessful.
She pointed out that at the moment the biggest challenge for our foreign office is to expose Indian atrocities and inhuman treatment of Kashmiris by Indian forces. To overcome this challenge, we need to increase diplomatic pressure, adopt an effective strategy through lobbying efforts against India, she added.
According to Prof. Wizarat the economic condition of the country can improve foreign direct investment of overseas Pakistanis as no country is taking interest in investing in our country. Therefore it is of utmost importance to motivate them to invest in Pakistan. She said: “JF-17 Thunder is modern warfare fighter; we should sell it to those who are willing to buy such as Myanmar and other countries.”
The first phase of CPEC is completed, second phase would offer much relief and opportunities to people, therefore it was important to start it sooner so that people could get benefits out of this great project, she informed. “Pakistan can successfully engage others through its foreign policy if we stabilize our economy, our foreign policy should comprise on national interests to achieve our objectives”. At the moment there is no foreign investment in the country except in Gawadar where China has invested 19 percent, she said and added that this shortage could be fulfilled by overseas Pakistanis.
Dr. Abubakr Sheikh said, Pakistan had opened China to USA and paved the way for China to have diplomatic relations with the west. Pakistan helped US against Soviet Union and also after 9/11; even then Americans blamed Pakistan for their failure in Afghanistan. Therefore, our focus should be on strengthening ourselves only. Religion should not be exploited in polities as Narendera Modi has been doing in India, he added.
Engineer Ibn al-Hasan Rizvi said our incompetent foreign policy was a result of weak economy while at the same time became a large economy. “There is a new economic world order taking shape where only economically countries would be able to survive” he said, adding that one of the key ingredients of a successful foreign strategy was “How and who rules the country.”
Prof. Dr. Khalida Ghaus said, after 9/11, new chapters opened which made Pakistan re-adjust its foreign policy in the context of defense against terrorism. She further said terrorism caused a global fear and Pakistan was seen through this lens. From that time, our foreign policy and economy began to faultier. To her, Pakistan’s foreign policy was not prompt on-time, that’s why we failed to highlight our point of view on international stage. There are no visible efforts to improve relations with South America and Africa even though many countries of these regions are economically emerging. “CPEC phase II bears fruit for common Pakistanis, but the development pace is painfully slow on this phase”, she lamented.
Sheikh Usman Damohi said that unfortunately after just creation of Pakistan the Kashmir dispute surfaced which drastically affected country’s foreign policy. Initially our foreign policy was successful, but later it became ineffective. We helped our friends to come out from diplomatic stalemates, but when we needed them, no one came to help us other than China, Turkey and Malaysia, he maintained. Prof. Dr. Akhlaque Ahmed said that Quaid-i-Azam once said “Pakistan should have cordial diplomatic relations with every country because today’s enemy can be tomorrow’s friend”. But later due to political polarization, politicians caused serious damage to the country and US continued to be deceitful, he added. Anwar Aziz Jakartawalla said Pakistan had three golden opportunities of taking Kashmir which were wasted because of the lack of diplomatic expertise in then rulers of Pakistan.