Humbug is meant to fool the masses – Journal
There has been a lot of talk and hype lately about Pakistan’s independent foreign policy, as if something ‘new’ is being suggested, or perhaps invented. It is essential to set the record straight.
Claims made these days that only the previous government had adopted an “independent” foreign policy and because of this the nation is no longer “the slave of a foreign power”, especially the United States , are all pranks aimed at misleading the masses.
History bears witness to the fact that many former Heads of State/Government in the past made bold decisions in the face of foreign influence and pressure. And, of course, it was done in the national interest.
In 1949, Liaquat Ali Khan recognized China while fending off intense pressure from the United States. In 1955, Muhammad Ali Bogra attended the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung even though American pressure was not there. In 1956, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy visited China and invited the Chinese Prime Minister to visit Pakistan, even though the United States and President Iskander Mirza opposed it.
In 1958, Feroze Khan Noon purchased Gwadar which today has changed the game. In 1960, Ayub Khan secretly traveled to Xinjiang riding a yak to achieve a breakthrough in Pakistan-China relations against the wishes of the United States. In 1963, a border treaty with China was signed when the government refused to bow to pressure from the United States and India. In 1966, the Tashkent Declaration was signed with the mediation of the former Soviet Union.
In 1971, Pakistan became a bridge between China and the United States, when Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China was facilitated by Pakistan. And in 1974, Pakistan Steel Mills was established under the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in active collaboration with the Soviets.
In 1979, Pakistan under General Ziaul Haq joined the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) despite strong opposition from the West. In 1998, Pakistan, under Mian Nawaz Sharif, carried out nuclear blasts against fierce opposition from around the world led by the United States and while refusing to pay any heed to the various inducements and aids worth billions of dollars that were offered by the world. community.
In 2014, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was launched in the face of strong opposition from Washington and New Delhi. So when Imran Khan, before he was ousted, visited Russia in February this year, it was in continuation of the independent and balanced foreign policy that Pakistan has been pursuing for a long time and with great consistency. There was nothing new or daring there.
Pakistan, despite its inclination towards the West from the very beginning, pursued a robust and independent foreign policy in which it was possible for Islam-abad to show the door to two superpowers, to become a nuclear power and to achieve a breakthrough in all spheres of national life, be it industry, agriculture, commerce or defense production. It has done so while maintaining a strong, well-led, well-trained, well-equipped and professional armed forces that are second to none. Let’s not forget the story in the heat of the moment.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Syed Iftikhar Ahmed
Posted in Dawn, June 18, 2022