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From Drawing Rooms To Borders

During the general election 2013, Khan was the talk of town.He had such mammoth rallies that on occasions people died of stampede. He had successfully mobilized the youth of Pakistan to come out of their houses and support him. However, whatever it might have appeared on the outside, the inside realities were a little different. There was a second kind of voter group that was silent, it didn’t participate in rallies and conventions, it wasn’t vocal at all, but on the day of election, this group of voters marched down the streets on a massive scale, voted for Nawaz Sharif, and went back to their sleeping cells. This resulted in a landsliding majority for Nawaz sharif’s party, he had won the elections by clear majority.

The reason why all this silent voters chose Nawaz over Khan was that in their opinion Nawaz had been holding the reigns of state for long and had an experienced team, which would handle the affairs of the state in a mature manner.The mere degree or title of “Experienced” had won Nawaz sharif Pakistan for the third time.

However,  my curiosity is if that gigantic vote bank still holds the same opinion after three years of the government have passed?

A day back Afghanistan did unprovoked firing on the Torkham border which resulted into the martyrdom of a Pakistani army Major, and wounded many other soldiers. Pakistan in response attacked their basses and has allegedly captured several of the Afghani Posts. Afghanistan’s sensitivity and desperation with the building of gates and walls on the Durand line is understandable, but the question is what happened that shifted this desperation to the border from the diplomatic drawing rooms?

The incidents like these do not happen all of a sudden, the tensions take time to transfer from the diplomatic front to the borders. And the right question to ask is what has Pakistani diplomacy been doing to prevent this kind of severe strain to spread?

On the south side of the country, the ties with the inherited enemy India have gone to its lowest. From Mumbai attack to Pathankot, India has successfully portrayed us as a terrorist nation in front of the whole world and has played remarkable diplomatic games to isolate us in the region. Desperate efforts of PM Nawaz  to make things right with India have all gone in vain. Moodi has really taken his game to the next level, with Chahbahar port in Iran and the road in Afghanistan to connect central Asia to the Arabian sea, he has strengthen his roots into our neighbors. Today India enjoys better relations with Iran and Afghanistan than us. With India’s increased stakes in Afghanistan, and  Pakistan’s soared ties with the USA, India has been able to create great economical, political and military influence in Afghanistan. And it is highly possible that India will replace USA as “police” once USA leaves Afghanistan.

In recent past ISI has managed to capture Iranian spies who were involved in disrupting the CPEC project in Balochistan. Iran sees Gawadar as a threat and competition to Chabahar and has been trying to cause troubles. The ex Taliban commander killed in the American drone attack had also been travelling from Iran. The increased ties of Afghani Taliban with the Iranian government are also troublesome to the Pakistani game in the region. It is to be remembered however that in the past when Saudia wanted Pakistan to take its side in the Yemen conflict against Iran, Pakistan managed to maintain a neutral position and had denied to fight against the Iranian backed Houthi rebels. This had greatly affected Pakistan’s ties with Saudia and her allies, a minister from an Arab country even warned Pakistan of dire consequences if it didn’t take sides.
Although It did help save Pakistan from jumping into another war, but it seems that it didn’t help Pakistan maintain its relations with either Arab world or Iran.

Bangladesh on the other hand has always hated Pakistan since its creation and lately has been busy in hanging pro Pakistani activists of Jamat e islami.

The ties with USA reached its lowest when the congress disproved the deal for giving F 16s to Pakistan and demanded that the aid on the deal be cut down. The congress demanded that Pakistan should be pushed to do more against the Haqqani network and should be asked to pay in full for the F 16s. Later on, the ex Taliban leader mullah Mansoor was killed in an uninformed drone attack in the province of Baluchistan. Pakistan recorded its protest to the American high commissioner in Islamabad and the army chief General Raheel regretted this decision of acting alone by the USA.

It is famously said that a man is known by the friends he keeps, and same is the case with countries, a country is also known by her allies, and it clearly looks like Pakistan has been isolated in the south Asian region. Ex friends have either gone neutral or turned their backs on us. And the real question to ponder is that what has the experienced government’s diplomacy been doing. Last time I checked Pakistan still not had a foreign minister. The modern day state system highly depends on the allies you have, and it looks like slowly and gradually we are on a mission to loose them all. Only on one side of the border we are left with a friend, rest of Pakistan is surrounded by the conspirators.And not only in the South Asian region, but it looks like we have isolated ourselves in all the world. It won’t be wrong to assume that Pakistan’s foreign policy has totally hit the rock bottom and a total overhaul is required, and who else is to blame in the democratic setup than the elected government itself.

 

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