By: LTC Taewon Choi, ROK Army, CSAG CCJ5
18 May 2022
In 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of the state of Pakistan, clearly described the principles and objectives of Pakistan’s foreign policy in a broadcast message: “The foundation of our foreign policy is friendship with all nations across the globe.” In accordance with this, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has maintained a large diplomatic network across the world. Pakistan is the second largest Muslim majority country in terms of population (after Indonesia) and the only Muslim majority nation with nuclear weapons. Pakistan enjoys a strategic geopolitical location: it is situated at the corridor of major maritime and land-based transit routes, ranging from energy-rich Central Asia and the Middle East to the population centers of South and East Asia, and has geostrategic hotspots such as Afghanistan, China, India and Iran as immediate neighbors. Pakistan maintains a tense relationship with the Republic of India due to the Kashmir conflict, close ties with the People’s Republic of China, Turkey, Russia and the Gulf Arab states, and fluctuating relations with the United States of America due to overlapping interests during the Cold War and War on Terror (WOT). Pakistan is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in August last year caused a sudden change in the region, and Pakistan, which is most affected by the situation in Afghanistan, is making various diplomatic efforts to respond to the expected change. Particular attention is paid to ensuring the direction of national policy, including foreign policy, is determined by a new general election and a new cabinet to be elected as a result of the recent political chaos related to the overthrow of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
- Pakistan has recently been actively engaged in comprehensive diplomacy (until the recent overthrow of Prime Minister Khan).
- Pakistan is seeking to expand its diplomatic capabilities through religious and intergovernmental diplomatic activities.
- Although the US has maintained a cold relationship with Pakistan since its withdrawal from Afghanistan, it should maintain its influence by discovering a new agenda and strengthening cooperative relations.
- Pakistan is very active in calling on the international community to recognize Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and to strengthen humanitarian assistance to prevent starvation.
- US relations with Pakistan will be strongly affected by the outcome of the upcoming general election under the new Pakistani government.
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The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of a number of international officers within the Combined Strategic Analysis Group (CSAG) and do not necessarily reflect the views of United States Central Command, not of the nations represented within the CSAG or any other governmental agency.