This year Pakistan is celebrating Independence Day 14th August, when the clouds of imminent default are getting thicker. While the people have complete faith in the economic resilience on the country, a lot needs to be done on war footings.
To carve out its future strategy, a dispassionate review of nearly three-quarters of a century has to be done, find out the mistakes and develop a conviction that Pakistan is a sovereign state and not a colony of any global or regional super power.
It is an undeniable fact that since independence Pakistan has remained the focus of global and regional super powers. The country is termed a natural corridor for trade, gateway to Central Asia and landlocked Afghanistan.
The perception is getting credence often regimes are installed and toppled in Pakistan by the super powers to achieve their vested interest. This is evident from Pakistan fighting US-proxy war is Afghanistan for more than four decades and love and hate relationship with India.
At present Pakistan faces extremely volatile situation, which has become a threat for its own existence. Fighting a US proxy in Afghanistan has completely destroyed the economic and social fabric of the country. Pakistan is suffering from the influx of foreign militant groups getting funds and arms from different global operators.
Analysts say over the years Pakistan has been towing US foreign policy and military agenda, which has often offended Russia, China, India and Iran. To improve internal security Pakistan must revisit its foreign policy, particularly relationship with Afghanistan, India and Iran, enjoying common borders with the country. It may not be wrong to say that at present Pakistan doesn’t enjoy cordial relation with none of these countries.
Many Pakistanis believe that when Britain decided to take an exit from the subcontinent in 1947 it left a thorn, Kashmir. Since independence India and Pakistan have been living in constant state of war, spending billions of dollars annually on the purchase of conventional as well as non-conventional arms and have also attained the status of atomic powers. However, both the countries suffer from extreme poverty.
There seems no probability of reconciliation between the two countries because of presence of hawks on both the sides. Even the trade relations could not be normalized due to the lingering Kashmir dispute as Hindus are not ready for another division of Hindustan on the basis of religion.
Iran has been persistently enduring economic sanctions for more than four decades. Pakistan suffers from severe energy crisis but it is not allowed to construct Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline or even buy Iranian crude oil under food for oil program. Iran has often complaint that certain outfits, most notorious being Jundullah, having its base in Baluchistan province of Pakistan, are involved in cross border terrorism.
Pakistan offers the shortest and most cost effective route to landlocked Afghanistan, leading to Central Asian countries. Gwadar deep seaport has been constructed in Baluchistan province with the financial and technical assistance of China. India often raises its concerns on Chinese presence along Pakistan’s coastal belt. However, it is on record that India played a key role in the construction of Chabahar port in Iran as well as road and rail links up to Central Asia via Afghanistan.
Pakistanis completely fail to understand the duality of US policy. India was asked to withdraw itself from Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and also rewarded nuclear technology in return. However, it was not stopped from building port and supporting infrastructure in Iran.