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Photo Source: The Friday Times

Pakistan Reader# 614, 26 June 2023

Takeaway: Asia’s Rising Giants and Pakistan’s Options



Pakistan can extend its policy towards the eastern counties which further enhances the peaceful coexistence in the South Asia region.

Varsha K

On 14 June, The Friday Times published an article titled “Asia’s Rising Giants and Pakistan’s Options.” The theme revolves around the national interest as supreme in foreign policy. Furthermore, it focuses on how Pakistan sees India’s stand in South Asia and compares Pakistan's foreign policy with India and China.  The following are the takeaways.

First, India’s position in the new emerging global order. India’s bilateral ties with Russia and the US indicate its peculiar role in the international community. Despite being in poverty and border tensions with neighbouring countries, India managed to hold its position as one of the major economies of the world. India’s organisation of the G20 meeting on tourism in Kashmir was seen as an offensive act by Pakistan. The vision of developing tourism fuelled the tensions between India and Pakistan, which called for a comprehensive dialogue through UN resolutions between the two to ensure regional stability. The US recognising India as "policeman" or "watchdog" of the region, is unacceptable by Pakistan as it wants to maintain the balance of power. 

Second, China's pursuit of national interest in the Middle East region. China’s role in the oil-producing Middle East countries indicates the changing global dynamics in recent years. Saudi Arabia embraced the relation with Beijing, as the latter initiated the restoration talks between Riyadh and Tehran. China’s role as a mediator between the countries was to ensure the growth of the Chinese economy without the effect of conflicts in the region. Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s interest to join BRICS indicates the former’s desire to trade with its currencies and move away from the US dollar. China’s foreign policy has been exemplified to demonstrate its strategic move in the region which benefits both Beijing and the Middle East countries. 

Third, deteriorating Pakistan’s foreign policy due to economic instability and political turmoil. The recent tension in the political landscape of Pakistan led to various challenges for the government and people. The political turmoil affected the declining economy of the country. Additionally, inflation, descending foreign investments, and devaluation of Pakistan's currency had adverse effects on the economy, further leading to the worsening condition of people. The detrimental situation urges a thorough assessment of domestic and foreign policies to address the economic and political challenges simultaneously to ensure stability in the region. 

Henceforth, a critical analysis of foreign policy needs to be undertaken by Pakistan’s policymakers to improve its situation. During the process, it can look up to India’s and China’s foreign policies to accomplish policies for the betterment of the people. Pakistan's recent efforts to build new ties with western countries implies its new direction in its foreign policy. However, Pakistan can extend its policy towards the eastern counties which further enhances the peaceful coexistence in the South Asia region, paving the way to stability in the region. Overall, this aids Pakistan to overcome the challenges at a quicker pace. 

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