Continuity of policies

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Friday, Oct 14, 2022

In my previous column, I had highlighted that the recent visits of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to the United States were very beneficial in terms of resolving misunderstandings and bringing both sides closer.

Various friends and well-wishers, in response to my column, also gave their worthy feedback on WhatsApp. They endorsed my viewpoint that General Bajwa has a leading role to improve the current situation of Pakistan, and that especially the Bajwa Doctrine has been proven effective over time. Once there was a time when Pakistan was demanded to ‘do more’ and now the international community seems to be convinced of Pakistan’s position. Most recently, Germany’s support of Pakistan’s position on the Kashmir issue is an important development.

No doubt, the US has influence on most international organizations including the IMF and the World Bank. Maintaining normal relations with the US is an important component of the foreign policy of every country in the world. In my view, the American leadership does not like India’s relations with Russia. America understands the geo-strategic significance of Pakistan very well and has always given priority to Pakistan.

In my view, Pakistan is facing a critical situation at regional and global levels. The scenario after the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the rift between the world powers in the context of the Russia-Ukraine and Taiwan issue, and growing ties between India and Russia demand us to take right decisions to tackle emerging challenges at various fronts.

In the 75 years of independence, whether it was the government of Ayub or Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Ziaul Haq or General Musharraf and every democratic politician after that, cordial relations were the main pillar of our foreign policy. Whenever Pakistan has faced critical times in the last seven decades, the US has always come forward to help us.

Relations between the two countries have also been suffering due to some misunderstandings, but some fault is also our own — our past rulers never put the interest of Pakistan first. The main reason for such diplomatic failures were due to our stereotypical foreign policies of the past.

As far as the current situation in Pakistan is concerned, the no-confidence motion led to the departure of the PTI government through a legitimate parliamentary process, but the irresponsible way in which the former ruling leadership levelled baseless accusations against the US resulted in damaging our bilateral relations.

Fortunately, after a long time, Pakistan has been blessed with a young and visionary foreign minister whose successful visit to the US has been recognized by the international media. According to global reports, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, following the footprints of his great grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has succeeded in presenting Pakistan’s position before the US and the international community in an effective way.

In the past, we have not been able to reap the benefits due to a vague foreign policy, but now we should make a diplomatic effort to use America’s reservations regarding India-Russia ties.

Today, every country in the world is ensuring that continuity of the policies must be maintained at any cost. In the context of the current global situation, timely concrete decisions will be beneficial for the stability of Pakistan.

The writer is a member of the

National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets @RVankwani