The lone warrior | Pakistan Today

The lone warrior

  • The deadline is not a victory, it’s a major cause for concern

The foreign minister’s tweet circumvented through the hearts of our countrymen as a declaration of victory. The 3-month deadline extended for Pakistan to pull up its socks, according to Khawaja Asif, is an achievement for which the government should be given its due credit. Such naïve thinking cements the lack of competency on their part. The deadline isn’t a victory, it is a major cause for concern.

The entire leadership of the country, be it the government or the opposition, is seemingly pre-occupied with their political game planning. Where at one end the ruling party is burdened with mourning yet another disqualification, the opposition is busy with marriage celebrations. Not a single leader is willing to sit and talk about Pakistan’s foreign policy failures.

If the FATF episode isn’t an eye-opener then only God alone knows what is. Our country faced immense levels of isolation during the event and yet our leaders have the audacity to comprehend it as a win. Even our northern neighbour wasn’t of much help during the event, or at least not the way one would expect them to. We need to understand, there are no brothers or friends in the game called international diplomacy. Every nation is focused on protecting its own interests and agendas.

Khawaja Asif was indeed right. By the time Pakistan is actually placed on the watch list, the N government will be gone

For the time being helping Pakistan is in the interest of China as a result we receive their occasional support. It would be a matter of seconds for them to abandon us once their job here is done. America would be quite an ironic example here. We were supposed to be their most important non-nato ally. And yet here we are defending ourselves from a motion tabled by our dear friends.

Pakistan stands alone in its fight against the international community and not one of our charming leaders bothers to debate upon it. It’s almost childish for them to be not able to see the dangers we face as a result of this isolation.

Since 1947, our eastern neighbour has engaged us on all possible fronts. They have strategically developed their economy as well as international presence and for the time being they are the ones who can actually claim to have some friends in the international seating. The FATF incident is the bedrock of Indian diplomacy against us. They have strongly built a narrative against us for the past many decades and have managed to win the support of the US recently. Although it was the US and the UK who initiated the motion at the meet, yet certain analysts agree that it is indeed India’s long drawn plan which is in its execution mode currently.

Pakistan, on the other hand, is failing on the international front and that too miserably. We consider CPEC to be our biggest achievement and cradle safely in our own domain as if no harm can befall us. We need to disillusion ourselves and quickly embrace reality. China alone is not sufficient for us to maintain an effective presence in the international community. We need to rally more friends so as to protect our interests. Most unfortunately our Middle-Eastern friends weren’t of much help either. Despite our back to back commitments of friendship and brotherhood as well as our recent generosity by sending troops to Saudi Arabia, we did not receive the reciprocation we deserve. This should be another eye-opener for the policy makers.

For the longest time in our history, certain left leaning politicians have always suggested cozying up with Russia rather than the US. Our strategic location would have found a better friend in them had it not been for US dollars. We obediently served US interest and remained at their beck and call and look where it landed us today. Donald Trump is belligerent towards us as if we’ve broken some marriage vows made to him.

Nevertheless, when push comes to shove we did stir towards Russia and by the looks of it, our future lies with developing stronger ties with them. With America remaining unperturbed towards us, we desperately need to look elsewhere. The question is, how?

Not by issuing bold statements or declaring the importance of our sovereignty. That might win over the hearts of the people at home but it won’t make a difference to the international community. As for now, most of them consider us a terror-sponsoring, unstable nation which happens to sit on nuclear assets.

These are pertinent questions which require immediate solving. However, unnerved by international developments, our state remains engrossed in internal rifts. Some by continuing a tirade against state institutions and others by plotting to get their leader elected. Institutions are busy in making a name for themselves. Amidst this judicial-politicking, Jinnah’s Pakistan once again remains forgotten.

It is a disgrace for our leaders to have failed in projecting a positive image of Pakistan abroad. Not even a single political party has a clear manifesto which talks about dealing with the international isolation that we currently face. Each one of them prioritises its self-projection and is not willing to brush aside politics and debate upon a strong foreign policy.

Khawaja Asif was indeed right. By the time Pakistan is actually placed on the watch list, the N government will be gone. On the contrary they will use that for political point-scoring. It will be easier to claim that as long as we were there, Pakistan was not on that list. Elect us to power again and we will remove our country’s name from all such lists.

History will not forgive you. Generations to come will not forgive you. The gift of a disastrous foreign policy that the leaders of today are decorating will sting them in the times to come. The time isn’t far when all those responsible for the state we are in today will have to answer. It won’t be long before Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s words become part of reality;

“Yaheen se uthega shor-e-mehshar, yaheen pe roze hisaab hoga”