Pakistan faces image problem abroad, says former ambassador
KHAIRPUR: Foreign policy of any country constitutes an endless dialogue between the power of the country and the power of change.
This was stated by former ambassador Ross Masood Hussain while addressing a one-day seminar on `Shifting regional dynamics and Pakistan`s foreign policy` as keynote speaker at Shah Abdul Latif University (Salu), Khairpur.
It was organised by Salu`s Institute of International Relations.
He said the centric approach of Pakistan`s foreign policy was to promote and protect the national interests. The factors that deter-mine Pakistan`s foreign policy were geopolitical setting, historical legacies, domestic milieu, external and psychological environment, he said.
It was the task of foreign policy to determine in these changing conditions its own hierarchy of interests. Perhaps the most difficult problems in formulating any appropriate hierarchy of national interests in a rapidly changing world was that of assessing and reassessing interests in order to ensure that they accorded with the newly emerging realities and compulsions.
The former envoy said Pakistan`s foreign policy was plagued by image and substance.
The general perception ofPakistan was that of a politically unstable and economically impoverished country that was providing a breeding ground to extremism and terrorism despite its government policy of condemning and combating terrorism in any form and manifestation.
The second perception abroad was that of a failed or failing state, he said and added that Pal
Mr Masood said, in the context of regional dynamics, Pakistan`s relations with China were more cordial.
China-Pak Economic Corridor was a significant step for economic uplifting of Pakistan.China was investing $46 billion in this project which would link the Kashghar with Gwadar port.
Strategically China`s influence was extended towards the West.
He said Pak-Saudi relations remained time tested, but during the recent civil strife in Yemen, Pakistan remained neutral and did not dispatch troops to Yemen.
This showed non-aligned and neutral foreign policy tilt.
He said Pakistan`s relations with Iran were improving. PakIran Gas pipeline project was under way. Relations with Afghanistan were hostile on account of the infiltration and interference from the Afghan side, but Pakistan had adopted a friendly policy with Afghanistan.On the Indian side, the policy of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was based on an anti-Muslim spirit. The peace process on secretaries` level could not produce fruitful results and there was a standstill on the peace process.
India was also involved in discriminatory firing on the Line of Control.
Former ambassador of Pakistan to Norway Faiz Mohammad Khoso shed light on the ChinaPak Economic Corridor in respect of regional change.
He said this was the biggest overseas investment by China announced yet and the corridor was expected to be operational within three years; would be a strategic game-changer in theregion and go a long way in making Pakistan a stable, richer and stronger entity than ever before.
Khairpur SSP Pir Mohammad Shah said internal security was also an important feature of foreign policy of any country because with the internal peace, the socio-economic scene could be changed easily.
He offered his voluntarily services in the CSS/PCS Coaching Centre of SALU.
In his speech, Prof Monis Ayaz Shaikh said China-Pak Economic Corridor was a viable way to the West. He said, in 1974 with the efforts of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, China entered in world affairs and Z.A Bhutto was the pioneer of the policy of bilateralism ofPakistan`s foreign policy.
Prof Dr Amir Ahmed Khuhro, director of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Chair, said the crux of Pakistan`s foreign policy in changing environment was based on neutrality and the concept of bilateralism. He said the ministry of foreign affairs was focusing on projecting, protecting and promoting the soft image of Pakistan abroad.
Sarfaraz Ali Korejo, director of Student Advancement Fund Endowment (SAFE), conducted the proceedings of the seminar.
Prof Dr Mohammad Nawaz Chand, Prof Imdad Chandio and a large number of researchers and students attended the seminar.