Tuesday, February 3, 2015

National Interests Come First

Most of the countries are in competition with one another as they want to accelerate and protect their economic progression to gain an improved standard of living for their populace. Similarly, both India and Pakistan are interested in the eradication of poverty so that living conditions of their peoples get improved significantly. In doing so, they have to compete with each other in securing an influential position in the comity of nations.
India has strived hard to reach a point where business and infrastructure growth is being aligned to propel the nation to “a position of world power.” And, there is absolutely no doubt that with a true visionary leader like Modi, India is all set to be heading towards the right direction.
Furthermore, nationalistic spirit is at all time high in India, people are getting wealthier, and businesses keep on booming throughout the country. That’s why, the whole world wants to do business with India, because the market is highly lucrative there.
Both President Obama and P.M. Modi have jointly demonstrated a “political will” to significantly elevate the U.S.-India relationship.
Indeed, the 2015 January 25 Joint Statement builds on the September 30 Joint Statement of 2014 which presents an exhaustive and comprehensive vision for mutual future cooperation and collaboration between the two economic powers. India is likely to enjoy the U.S. assistance ranging from high tech & space to defence, climate change, and energy.
Nevertheless, with the U.S. tilt towards the arch rival India, the Pak-U.S. mindset of understanding seems to be somewhat fading away. Obviously, there are no more fake smiles. Most probably, Islamabad is in a “wake up mode” after having been frustrated due to the U.S. foreign policy of favouring India's bid for permanent membership in the UN Security Council.
Apparently, Pakistan has been denied what India is getting in the form of specific exemption to join the Nuclear Supply Group. This would allow India to import American civil nuclear technology.
According to media sources, Islamabad has warned that the US policy would compound the already “fragile” strategic stability atmosphere, and there could be detrimental impact on the peace in South Asia.
What is it that has convinced the U.S. to go ahead with preferential treatment favouring India and ignoring its long term ally Pakistan?
Reasons are following among others:
(A) The country’s “image building” matters a lot. And, India has succeeded in uplifting/projecting its image through its foreign service and its people working in the West. While, Pakistan usually falls short of sending smarter personnel and ambassadors abroad who could diligently handle matters to promote national cause.
(B) Indian media has always been very active in portraying Pakistan as terrorist state. Now with the help of some elements in Pakistani media, their job is getting easier.
(C) Also, Pakistan doesn’t even have a foreign minister yet - so what can you expect from the paralysed government other than embarrassment? In Pakistan, almost eighty percent of people are illiterate who have no clue whatsoever of national interests, however, everyone is bickering about the unsatisfied personal interests.
Thought provoking:
When President Obama was in India, Pak army Chief General Raheel Sharif dashed to China which described its friendship with Islamabad as irreplaceable in a changing geo-strategic environment in south Asia.
Pakistani leadership is in shock as the U.S.-Pak traditional alliance is set to face gradual erosion ahead. For much of its history, Pakistan has been an ally of the U.S., while Russia had stronger ties with India, even backing it during that country’s 1971 war with Pakistan.
It’s very frustrating that most of the Nato troops have left next-door Afghanistan – and the Pakistani army is straining to overcome Islamist militants on its western border – the concerned officials fear some unpleasant surprises may erupt as the United States of America’s regional interest is tilting toward India, Pakistan’s eastern neighbour and arch-rival.
Analysts are of the opinion that Pakistan's strategic partnership with the U.S. is aimed at short term gains to fight off the ongoing militancy in the region. Therefore, Pakistan is skeptical about its alliance with the U.S. in so called war on terror. That is why, Islamabad is fast expanding its economic and geo-strategic partnership with China. Pakistan believes China as its time tested friend.
Lesson for Pakistan:
The people of Pakistan must be educated enough to elect a visionary leader and the right kind of government next time to eliminate the stinky status quo.
Pakistan needs a commercially oriented foreign policy on urgent basis.
All Ambassadors and their subordinate staff should have high negotiating skills so that they are able to sell Pakistan’s point of view while serving abroad.
Mineral and natural resources/reserves rich Pakistan is in need of regaining its lost self esteem; it needs to stop its addiction of being a donation receiving country.
Pakistanis must realise that no one is capable of solving their problems other than themselves.
The fact is a nuclear Pakistan is unacceptable to many who will do everything to neutralize it.
Despite Pakistan faces an excessive amount of terrorism, it is managing to have an annual growth rate in the neighbourhood of 4.5 percent significantly more than many European States. Pakistan has been surviving against the odds including anti Pakistan proxy war, hence is not a failed state. Actually, the term “failed state” only applies to countries like Greece, Spain and others that have received hundreds of billions of US dollars as rescue packages, yet no growth.
Most importantly, Pakistan leadership needs to understand that for attracting foreign investment along with enhanced trade, the ongoing state of political instability and militancy has to end, sooner the better.
Pakistani business elite including political leaders must show their sincerity to the nation by bringing back their capital from abroad to give an economic facelift to their own country. Indeed, it would be helping Pakistan to stay competitive internationally.

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