Impact of Civil-Military Relations on Foreign Policy of Pakistan.


Byline: Muhammad Saleem and Muhammad Abrar Ahmad

'Our objective should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial relations with our immediate neighbours and with world at large. We have no aggressive designs against anyone. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.' The Quaid's statement regarding foreign policy of Pakistan.

He laid the solid foundation of the foreign policy. As the foreign policy of a state reflects its designs to move in the world. Our foreign policy clearly reflects the commitment of peace. With unique strategic location in South Asia, surrounded by frontline states like ever hostile India in the east, Iran in the west, China in the north and Afghanistan in the north-west Pakistan has always been considered as pivot for the regional and international powers for the implementation of their policies. After its emergence in 1947 in bipolar world, it started its journey by joining Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and it tackled Indian propaganda against Pakistan for being a monstrosity. It extended relations with Islamic countries and bravely championed their causes. Special ties were cultivated with neighbour Iran, and further with Turkey and Saudi Arabia. India's exponent designs to engulf Kashmir were not acceptable by Pakistan.1

Afghanistan enmity was also another factor together with former U.S.S.R's love affair with India and increasing economic crisis compelled Pakistan to tilt towards U.S.A but the big power always showed a cold shoulder in the hour of need and the defence pacts with it proved to be elusive. Though this relation persists in many terms and Pakistan has a prominent position in American policy. 2Security concern due to hostile neighbour India and unfriendly Afghanistan has always governed foreign policy of Pakistan. Pakistan is currently having major alliances with all regional and international organizations. To maintain its territorial integrity Pakistan was compelled to prefer security over strengthening its institutions and economy. On the other hand the impact of external and internal threats on civil-military relations in a state is major determinant of the nature of this interaction.

In Pakistan, military has always tackled the internal and external security threats either in form of India's four time hegemony against Pakistan or the menace of terrorism in the state since the last decade which erupted soon after Pakistan became the non NATO ally of the U.S in its war on terror.3

Foreign policy of Pakistan has been redefined and reshaped regarding the security concerns in different eras. Indian conspiracy to bifurcate Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh was aided by the Soviet Union and other countries. Indra Gandhi had been wishing to sink the Two Nation Theory down in Bay of Bengal since long. For her the tragic episode of Dacca fall was like dream came true. With dawn of 21st century when Pakistan had gained the status of a nuclear state. In aftermath of 9/11, an international conspiracy with wider plot was hatched by the U.S and its allies to dismember Nuclear Pakistan. The goals were to destabilize, de-Islamize and denuclearize Pakistan. Pakistan passed through the darkest period of its history as terrorism paralyzed the infrastructure of the state and more than seventy thousand Pakistani civilians and soldiers shed their blood in terrorist attacks.118 billion$ financial loss along with a social trauma in whole nation are the irreparable damages which Pakistan had to bear.

This was the time armed forces of Pakistan as always bravely tackled the terrorists as well as external hatchers of this disaster.


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