Historically, Military Diplomacy is quite known for relationships between executive representatives and military leaders of different nations and kingdoms to grow outside of the courtrooms and battle grounds. In the light of Pakistan’s current situation and geopolitical significance, the military diplomacy formula has helped bolster our ties with other nations. Military diplomacy has helped Pakistan to enhance and strengthen the bilateral and multilateral relations with various nations. Joint military exercises, competitions and troops contributions for global peace have augmented Pakistan’s image as a responsible country. Since creation of Pakistan in 1947, it has remained susceptible to diversified security challenges on both internal and external fronts. These concerns resulted into accepted and established norm of military diplomacy integrated with other facets of our national policy.
COAS General Syed Asim Munir’s ongoing visit to US encompasses multidimensional significance in the face of confronted challenges by the country. These varied domestic challenges in security and economic realms are further expounded when Pakistan, concurrently, confronts impacts of regional and global security situation. Notwithstanding expected criticism on this visit by inimical quarters, the significance of such military diplomatic overtures cannot be discredited. Traditionally, the extent of PAK-US relations have mostly been steered by both sides’ military components as both countries have consistently confronted shared security concerns especially during Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and later during US fights against global terrorism and its protracted presence in Pakistan’s immediate neighbor. The focus of the visit of COAS General Syed Asim Munir is likely to remain within the confines of security regional security milieu with special emphasis on pervasive threat emanating from Afghanistan. United States, being the signatory of Doha Accord is obligated to ensure Afghan Interim Government pledges. Pakistan’s continued concerns over use of Afghan soil by TTP are contrary to what was pledged by Afghan Government in Doha Accord. United States, being the signatory of the Accord will be persuaded to assert its influence on Afghans to abide by essence of their pledges. Gen Asim Munir will definitely highlight the surge of TTP attacks from Afghan soil. The significant rise in these attacks (49 in 2020, 198 in 2021, 237 in 2022 and shockingly 317 in 2022) may prove consequential for United States before its impact start engulfing its own national security.
United States being the biggest trade partner of Pakistan, cannot be kept out of Pakistan SIFC driven initiatives for revival of former’s depleted economy. The focus of SIFC is also on attracting maximum international investments in its defined sectors i.e. Agriculture, Information Technology, Mines & Minerals, energy sector and defence production. Recognizing Pakistan’s vast mineral potential, it is imperative to engage with US authorities for securing our position in the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP). This initiative is designed to expedite the development of diverse and sustainable supply chains for critical energy minerals.
Pakistan Army’s ardent support to the cause of Palestine truly manifested in recently held Corps Comds conference and COAS’ meet with Palestinian Ambassador indicates that ongoing Gaza crisis will also be discussed in bilateral huddles. Pakistan’s principled stance in line with UN resolutions, OIC and Arab league’s perspectives will be highlighted to attain a lasting peace in the region. In this regard Ambassador Munir Akram’s recent statement on Pakistan unequivocal support to Palestinian cause has set a stage to pursue this grave issue with US authorities.
The visit is also likely to be seen tangent to Pakistan’s relation with brotherly country China This misperception is nothing more than harming existing relations with China to reinforce the agenda of those hostile forces who are always in play for accomplishment of such agenda. Pakistan is pursuing multifaceted bilateral relations with China independently. These relations in the field of security and economy are time tested and have withstood onslaughts of propaganda of common hostile states and non-state actors. In the past few months, over 30 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) have been inked between China and Pakistan across various sectors including mineral exploration, processing, and extraction, climate protection, industrial production, commerce, communication, transport, connectivity, food security, media, space cooperation, urban development, capacity building, and vaccine development. In the evolving landscape of US-China contest, Pakistan stands distinctively placed to act as a mediator between these two major powers. With a history of facilitation between states and possessing stakes in both the US and China, Pakistan brings a multifaceted approach to the table.
This visit is likely to draw a nasty propaganda campaign to mitigate its multidimensional significance by inimical forces averse to national interests. There is a need to discern facts from fiction to discourage myopic discourse based on vested political interests. This important visit is based on Pakistan’s policy of mutually exclusive foreign relations without impacting country’s cordial relations across the globe. It also is in line with globally recognized significance of military diplomacy stemming out from country’s overall foreign policy dictates.