Binoo Joshi

J K News Today Commentary

Pakistan’s  new Prime Minister  Imran Khan  has specified his foreign policy priorities with utmost care  by taking into account  what he weighed as assets and risks and the role of his country in fostering ties for stability and peace in the region .

There was no doubt that Imran Khan was properly briefed on the foreign policy matters, where he placed Pakistan’s relations with India at the rock bottom of his priorities in foreign affairs. China obviously figured at the top slot because of the multiple reasons – China is emerging as the real superpower at the global stage and is giving a tough competition to Donald Trump’s United States of America not only on the economic front but also in expansion of geo-strategic interests. Beijing’s One Belt Road initiative has caught attention and interest of many countries across the world, despite the fact that there are many critics as well.

Secondly, China is an all-weather friend  of Pakistan. The China –Pakistan Economic Corridor being a game changer has become a signature tune in the relationship of the two countries. This is considered a role model for the employment and investment opportunities. Imran ‘s speech echoed that with a stress underlining the point that nothing could alter the relationship between the two neighbouring nations, including the change in the governments. The CPEC was signed and started during his predecessor and now jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif. It was more of a reassurance to Beijing and its leadership.

Next important neighbor in his list was Afghanistan that he listed as the biggest victim of America’s war on terror launched in October 2001 following 9/11. The peace in Afghanistan would ensure peace in Pakistan and defined peace in the country across the Durand Line as the prime goal of the two countries.  In the third place, he snubbed America for believing that it was doing a favour by funding Pakistan for the war on terror.  He refused to accept this relationship of inequality.” The relationship has to be balanced,” he emphasized – sending two clear messages that America cannot take Pakistan for granted for its war on terror and sacrificing its men and material, and at the same time Imran was telling Beijing that under his rule America would not be having unhindered access to its troops and people.  The serial numbers picked up by Imran were significant. Then he went to speak about Iran and Saudi Arabia before picking up India, that too, in the context of what he reiterated traditional Pakistani line of “ Kashmir being the core issue.”. That, he said, needed to be resolved , to end the sufferings of Kashmiris piled over them for the past three decades and also for stability and peace in the region.

It was a deliberate act with a profound message that Delhi would have to act in improving the relations and placed Kashmir as the starting point. This foreign policy agenda of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (  PTI)  is a matter of crucial analysis by India and those who frame its Pak policy as also those scripting its  Kashmir policy .

Imran has been  in politics  for 22 years , and there is an open secret of his alliance with Pakistan army . What has to be discerned is that how far Imran can take steps on its own , but a significant remark should not be missed  when he said that India and Pakistan need to lift themselves above the blame-game  of charging each other with causing trouble in each other’s territories . India blames Pakistan for Kashmir trouble and we blame them for the trouble in Baluchistan .   What he meant was  that India was unnecessarily being charged with causing trouble in  Baluchistan – underlined  point was that India is  seeking to hide its failures in Kashmir  and was blaming Pakistan without any rhyme and reason.