Foreign policy, General objectives that guide the activities and relationships of one state in its interactions with other states. The development of foreign policy is influenced by domestic considerations, the policies or behavior of other states, or plans to advance specific geopolitical designs. Leopold von Ranke emphasized the primacy of geography and external threats in shaping foreign policy, but later writers emphasized domestic factors. Diplomacy is the tool of foreign policy, and war, alliances, and international trade may all be manifestations of it.
The Importance of Foreign Policy.
In modern times no state can avoid involvement in the international sphere. This involvement must be systematic and based on some well-defined principles. The principle and the purpose of a state is reflected in its foreign policy. The importance of foreign policy is accepted widely and it basically defines a state’s approach towards the other states.
A foreign policy should protect the territorial integrity of the country and protect the interests of its citizens, both within and outside the country. Generally, for this purpose the states prefer to follow policy of status quo. If a state pursues a policy which seeks to upset the status quo it is branded as revisionist and arouses the suspicion of other members of the international community. It has to protect the interests of its citizens both inside and outside the state, for the maintenance of its prestige.
Secondly, the objective of foreign policy should be the maintenance of links with other members of international community and adoption of policy of conflict or cooperation towards them with a view to promote its own interests. Moreover, the foreign policy of a country should seek to promote and further its national interests of the country. The primary interests of each state is preservation, security and well-being of its citizens. Often, the interests of various states come in clash and the states have their interests bearing in mind this factor.
At the same time, the foreign policy should aim at promotion of economic interests of the country. As the status of a state is largely determined by its economic status, the states try to pursue a foreign policy which can contribute to their economic prosperity and enable it in turn to play a more effective role in international politics. Most of the treaties and agreements concluded by the state with other members of international community are essentially designed to protect and promote the economic interests of these states. Ultimately, the foreign policy aims at enhancement of the influence of the state either by expanding its area of influence or reducing the other state to the position of dependency.
It is important to see whether Afghanistan’s foreign policy is able to pursue these objectives in their true spirit. Unfortunately, because of certain factors like years of instability and economic and political fragility have made the country dependent on others to a large extent and, therefore, the true objectives of the foreign policy could never be achieved. Moreover, the country could not define and pursue properly its national interests and, resultantly, remained weaker in international arena.
There are different factors that influence the foreign policy of a country. In the first place the size of a state’s territory and its population greatly influences its foreign policy. Generally, the leaders and people of a country with small territory and population do not expect their country to carry great weight in international affairs. On the other hand, the leaders and people of large countries are ready to assume special responsibilities. However, sometime even small states which have rich resources also leave a deep impact on world politics.
The geography of a country, including its fertility, climate, location in relation to other land masses and water-ways etc. also influence the country’s foreign policy. It is a major factor in determining self-sufficiency of a country. Generally, land-locked countries, nations in the tropics and those bordering a superpower are less self-sufficient in comparison to the countries which have access to warm-water ports or are located in the temperate zones and far removed from superpowers.
The cultural and historical traditions of a country also deeply influence the foreign policy. Generally, people possessing a unified common culture and historical experience can pursue an effective foreign policy because of the support of all sections of society who share the same values and memories. On the other hand, a country which is culturally and historically fragmented cannot pursue an equally effective foreign policy.
Apart from these internal factors there are certain external factors as well that influence the foreign policy of a country. The contemporary international organizations greatly influence the foreign policy of a country. While formulating its foreign policy the country has to take note of the international law, treaties and contracts. No country can ignore these factors without jeopardizing its own interests. Apart from the structure at the global level, the structures at the regional and sub-regional levels also greatly influence the foreign policy of a country.
Pakistan is an active member of the UN and in addition to UN Pakistan is a member of several other international and regional organizations. You act as the member of these organizations within the framework, basic principles and charter of these organizations and work with others for the achievement of goals of these organizations like the goals of the UN, goals of the organization of Islamic Conference and that is another level that you function and operate within the framework of an international organizations and bodies.
The next level is the non-official, in addition to official channels govt to govt communications there is also a non-official side where ordinary citizens play an important role or various groups, various organizations play a role for example, lot of Pakistani students go abroad for education, they also go abroad for visits and other purposes, Pakistanis are settled abroad and they are doing jobs. All these peoples are not officials of Pakistan but what they do, how they live, how they interact with others affects a nation’s role at the international level. Similarly, there are different organizations NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS they also interact with similar Non-governmental organizations elsewhere in the World. So when you talk of Pakistan’s relations with the rest of the World you talk of the both official and non-official level where individual, citizens and their groups interact with each other.
Pakistan believes that to eradicate terrorism first the root causes of the problem should be removed.
PAKISTAN’S FOREIGN POLICY IN LIGHT OF QUAID-E-AZAM’S WORDS
The father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam defined Foreign Policy towards other countries of the world in 1948, as follows:
“Our Foreign Policy is one of friendliness and good-will towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the policy of honesty and fair play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our outmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed of the United Nations Charter.”
BASIC GOALS OF PAKISTAN’S FOREIGN POLICY
1. Maintenance of territorial integrity.
2. Maintenance of its political independence.
3. Acceleration of social and economic development.
4. Strengthening its place on the globe.
5. Keeping cordial and friendly relations with all countries.
GUIDING PRINCPLES OF PAKISTAN’S FPREIGN POLICY
Following are the principles of Pakistan’s Policy:
1. Protection of freedom and sovereignty
Pakistan came into being after great sacrifices of millions of Muslims, like any other country, she also considers with deep regard the need for preservation of its independence and does not allow any country to harm its freedom. Therefore, the principle of protection of independence and sovereignty is the corner stone of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy.
2. Cordial Relations with Muslim Countries
Pakistan always tries to establish cordial and friendly relations with Muslim countries. It has always moved its concern against Israel, India and U.S.S.R capturing Palestine, Kashmir and Afghanistan respectively. She has shouldered high responsibilities and used her influence for safeguarding the rights of the Muslims. Pakistan is also an active member of the Islamic Conference.
3. Non Interference in Internal Affairs of Other countries
Pakistan has sought to establish normal and friendly relations with all countries especially its neighboring countries, on the basis of universally acknowledge the principle of national sovereignty, non-use of force, non-interference in the internal affairs of state.
4. Implementation of U.N Charter
Pakistan’s policy is to act upon UN Charter and to support all moves by the UN to implement it. Pakistan has been the member of UN since the year of its birth.
5. Promotion of World Peace
Pakistan policy is to promote peace among nations. It has no aggressive designs against any country. Neither does it support any such action. Pakistan has always held that the international disputes should be settled through negotiations rather than non-battlefield.
Pakistan follows the policy of Non-Alignment i,e to keep away from alignment with any big power bloc and avoids taking sides in the cold war .It has also given up its association with SEATO and CENTO and was included in NAM in 1979.
7. Support for Self-Determination and Condemnation of Racial Discrimination
Pakistan is a staunch supporter of the right of self-determination and has been in the fore front of efforts to eliminate colonialism. It has advocated the right of self-determination of Kashmir.
FOREIGN POLICY OF PAKISTAN FROM HISTORY TILL PRESENT
The course of Pakistan foreign policy has been complex, and has passed through several stages during its development. In the early years it generally adhered to a neutralist course. Then however, it departed from this course, concluded military agreements with the United States, entered into blocs (SEATO and the Baghdad pact). In this period Pakistan developed its foreign policy and foreign economic ties, mainly with the western powers. Subsequently, at the turn of the 1960s Pakistan’s foreign policy strategy began to be reviewed. Courses directed toward strengthening its independence, renouncing the one sided orientation toward the western powers, and extending cooperation with the socialist states and the afro Asian countries began to gather momentum in its foreign policy. Such periodization in the development of Pakistan’s foreign policy, with certain deviations, is wide spread and acknowledged
PHASES OF PAKISTAN FOREIGN POLICY
1947-53: Exploration and Friendship with All (non-aligned phase)
Pakistan was formed under inauspicious circumstances. We gained independence not only from the British but also from the Indians who were aiming to rule us and take
Revenge of our centuries of rule over them. So our foreign policy started from the non-aligned phase in which we started like a new born state to initiate relations and search for friendship.
When Pakistan was formed there was a cold war going all over the world between the 2 blocks and everywhere there was only 1 question:
WHICH BLOC TO JOIN: CAPITALIST OR COMMUNIST?
But this was not the major question for Pakistan rather it was how to secure itself from India and how to develop good relations with other nations?
Pakistan faced many problems in making relations with India because they were even not recognizing Pakistan as an independent state and some of the Indian leaders were also giving statements regarding the reunification of Pakistan and India. In addition to this there were also other problems due to the Redcliff award like:
* Division of funds and assets
* Division of land and the problems regarding the princely states of Junagarh, Kashmir, Hyderabad and Gurdaspur.
* River water dispute
A Kashmir war also started (1947-1948) against this division.
Then the second threat was from our other neighbor named as Afghanistan which firstly did not recognized us as an independent state and secondly refused to accept Pakistan’s sovereignty over NWFP and Baluchistan and demanded for the right of self-determination for pathans and an independent state comprising of NWFP and Baluchistan. India and Russia supported Afghanistan and this pressurized Pakistan.
Pakistan also thought of re-establishing its army which it inherited from British. Pakistan had the best relations with British and for this the bought equipment and also sent their army for training to British and commonwealth.
Pakistan’s relation with US started initially since 1948 at ambassadorial level but with Russia it could not maintain good relations which started from the refusal of Liaqat Ali khan to visit Russia. But its relations with china started from the very basic level since the independence of china as Pakistan was the first to recognize china independent.
Pakistan’s relations with Muslim countries and its effort to unify Muslims on international platform was very disappointing as Afghanistan was not recognizing Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt were showing reservations but Iran turkey and Saudi Arabia showed a positive attitude.
1953-62: Alignment with the West (aligned phase)
The second phase of Pakistan’s foreign policy was characterized by a transition from an independent foreign policy to a multifaceted alignment with the West. Pakistan entered into a number of security arrangements with the United States and obtained economic and military assistance from that source which entangled Pakistan in the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Pakistan was having security threats from India and Afghanistan so it accelerated its search for allies. Due to this search and threat it lead Pakistan to sign mutual defense assistance agreement with US according to which US provided military equipment, training facilities and other related services to enable Pakistan to maintain “its international security and in the same year 1954 it joined SEATO or manila pact to develop capacity “to resist attack and counter subversive activities” and promote cooperation for economic progress and social well-being.
In 1955 Pakistan signed Baghdad pact or CENTO which was an agreement to cooperate with each other in the field of defense and security.
In 1959 Pakistan signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with US for defense and economic assistance. . Pakistan received grant assistance valued at US $ 650 million, and credit facilities worth US $ 55 million. The military assistance included arms and ammunition, artillery pieces, APCs, and transport for the Army; aircraft F-104, B-57, F-86, and C-130 for the Air Force; naval defense equipment, including warships; radar and communication equipment. The U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (USMAAG) was set up in Pakistan to advise and guide the modernization of the armed forces and the security arrangements.
But this alignment was not cost-free rather it increased its threat from Russia when Russia increased its support with India considering Kashmir an integral part of India and with Afghanistan for pathans.
In Ayub khan era Ayub demanded relation with US on the basis of equality without slavery because India neglecting India’s threat for Pakistan provided military equipment to India.
Due to this disappointment in US policy Pakistan started to build relations with Soviet Union and signed for the first time agreement offering technical assistance for oil exploration and cultural exchanges in Pakistan. This continued from 1965 to 1970. After this Soviet Union showed neutrality in India Pakistan relations for which Tashkent
Agreement was also signed between India and Pakistan on the invitation of soviet prime minister.
Pakistan also improved its relations with china by signing many agreements.
Viewing this US was very disappointed and asked Pakistan to stop but Pakistan did not listen to US voice.
With India Indus water treaty was signed but meanwhile in 1971 East Pakistan crisis started and India played a negative role in it.
1972-79: Bilateralism and Nonalignment
Pakistan withdrew from the Commonwealth and the SEATO in January and November 1972 respectively. It may be pointed out here that Pakistan returned to the Commonwealth in September 1989. Pakistan recognized the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea), Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and East Germany in November 1972.
To normalize the non-cooperative indo-pak relations Simla agreement was signed in 1971.
Pakistan also recognized East Pakistan as independent which formed as Bangladesh.
Pakistan started to strengthen its relations with the major power like china and Soviet Union.
But the relations with US went to the lowest point ever when US stopped the aid and the path towards nuclear technology for which the students burnt the US embassy in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s relations with the Muslim countries especially with Middle East began to strengthen.
1980-90: Afghanistan and Partnership with the United States
Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan began to progress when Pakistan supported Afghanistan and asked Soviet Union to call back their troops from Afghanistan as Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan because Afghanistan was a Muslim country as well as the neighbor and at that time many afghan mujahedeen and refugees migrated to Pakistan which are now known as al-Qaeda or terrorists.
With the Afghanistan war there was a change in US policy which shifted from lower to close political, economic and security ties.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked together in passing on weapons, military training and financial support to Afghan resistance groups. They encouraged the volunteers from the Arab states to join the Afghan resistance in its struggle against the Soviet troops based in Afghanistan.
The barter trade through the Karakoram Highway expanded and China assisted Pakistan in agriculture, nuclear technology, power generation and heavy industry, especially the defense-related industry.
Pakistan maintained cordial relations with the Muslim states which extended support at the bilateral level and through the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to Pakistan on the Afghanistan issue. Some of the Muslim countries donated cash and goods for helping the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. New agreements for expansion of trade, promotion of economic and technological cooperation, and establishment of joint economic commissions were signed with several Islamic countries.
A major problem faced by Pakistan in its relations with the Muslim world was that it got identified with conservative, monarchical and pro-U.S. regimes in the Middle East and its relations cooled off with radical and nationalist states like Libya, Syria and Iraq.
In 1988 Geneva accords was signed between Pakistan, Afghanistan, US and Soviet Union for the peaceful resolution of Afghanistan problem.
Meanwhile US left Pakistan alone to solve the afghan conflict and even refused to certify that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear explosive device.
This discontinued economic assistance and military sales to Pakistan with the exception of the economic assistance on way to Pakistan. Military sales and training programme were abruptly disrupted and some of the Pakistani military officers under training in the U.S. were asked to return home.
1990-2001: Post Cold War Era and Pakistan’s Dilemmas
Four major issues dominated Pakistan’s foreign policy in the 1990s.
* A drift in Pakistan-U.S. relations
* The Afghanistan problem
* The Kashmir insurgency and its impact on Indo-Pakistan relations
* The nuclear explosions
There was a shift in US policy from Pakistan to repair its damaged relations with India due to its afghan policy. US suspended military sales and economic assistance to Pakistan.
The Afghanistan problem continued to haunt Pakistan during these years. Pakistan’s effort to install a pro-Pakistan Mujahedeen government in Kabul did not succeed.
India and Pakistan decided to test nuclear weapon in 1998 and peace treaties were also getting signed but meanwhile the strengthening relations with India went to failure with the occurrence of Kargil war in 1999.
2001 Onwards: Counter Terrorism
The 9/11 attacks in US brought a huge change in international politics and in US policy. Pakistan was caught as the main target due to the afghan mujahedeen residing in Pakistan. But Pakistan managed to cope with it by entering and supporting the war against terror.
US extended economic and technological assistance to strengthen border security. Pakistan also received liberal economic assistance from the World Bank, IMF and Asian development bank.
The relations with India began to weaken because India also supported the war against terror but US chose Pakistan for its counter terrorism strategy and India started to describe that Pakistan is deeply involved with Taliban and Islamic groups. Dialogues started but they could not get successful.
Pakistan’s relations with Russia, Muslim world and china strengthened.
Since 2001, the policy of war on terror has only affected and degraded our sovereignty, economy, territory, human rights, security and such matters. It has only increased violence, terrorism and fear in our country and society. In addition to this, the recent Peshawar incident has directly and deeply violated our dominion and security. Moreover, along with this, the threat from India and Afghanistan is further deteriorating as both are close partners. India’s influence is increasing on Afghanistan and owing to this the anti-Pakistan sentiments are being injected in locals of Afghanistan. So the main, prime and basic objective of our foreign policy is to:
* Make security our focal point of foreign policy
* Review our policy towards neighbors and Muslim world
* Make our strategic position an asset rather than liability through trade, connectivity and communication.
The Foreign Policy of Pakistan strives for the promotion of peace and security at the regional and global levels. It also aims at accelerating the country’s socio-economic progress. In keeping with its international obligations and in conformity with the United Nations Charter, Pakistan consistently seeks friendship and cooperation in its foreign relations on the basis of sovereign equality, mutual respect and benefit, non-interference and peaceful settlement of disputes.
Pakistan is currently an active player in the global efforts for combating religious extremism and terrorism with a policy that extremism and terrorism pose serious threats to global security as well as to Pakistan’s internal peace, stability and economic development.
“Our Foreign Policy is one of the friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world we do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair play in national and international dealings. Pakistan will never be found lacking in upholding principles of the United Nations’ Charter.” (Quaid-e-Azam, Feb: 1948)