Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addresses supporters during a rally in Gujranwala, near Lahore, in a file photo. Photo: Reuters/Mohsin Raza
Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addresses supporters during a rally in Gujranwala, near Lahore, in a file photo. Photo: Reuters/Mohsin Raza

After the failures of its foreign policy and unwanted consequences of the “war on terror” in collaboration with the United States, Pakistan now seems to be moving toward becoming more stable, trusted and secure.

In this context, a new strategy for the “war on terror” and foreign policy is under way, including cooperative training by the Russian, Chinese  and Pakistani Armed Forces.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa will visit Russia next month, with indications that stronger ties with Russia will be on the discussion agenda, which may favor Pakistan and its strategic security.

Internal political instability, due to the high-level corruption of top politicians, bureaucrats and retired generals, has looted the state treasury since right after the nation gained independence from Britain. Besides that, a series of military regimes have led the country toward dictatorship, and as a result, caused the breakaway of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

It is a tragedy that for a long time neither army generals nor the leaders of the political parties learned from those painful circumstances. The Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif, who was removed as prime minister by a verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has been the country’s longest-lived civilian regime, with three terms, even though he and his party failed to build the country and the welfare of the people.

Such issues and the shortage of the basic needs of one’s life created the atmosphere of distrust and disappointment within people that resulted in agitation and rallies against the Sharif government, which he survived, only for corruption to cause his removal from power. However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is still the ruling party, as despite the political crisis and anti-corruption process, the Pakistan Armed Forces remained neutral.

In most of the similar situations of the past, the Armed Forces overthrew the government, going on to rule the country for decades. It is a good sign of professionalism that the Pakistan Armed Forces this time has worked within the constitution, which strives to unite the provinces and ensure equal rights.

Now it also seems that the civil and military heads understand their responsibilities, and that the security of Pakistan and its people must take precedence over any adventures, unlike the opportunistic practices of the past.

And so it appears that Pakistan has adopted a way toward balanced diplomacy, changing its foreign policy to be neutral and more transparent, whether in economic, strategic, or international relations. In a recent address to an audience in New York, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif clearly indicated this point.

Now the question remains: What will be the future of the ties between old allies the United States and Pakistan?

Ehsan Sehgal is a Dutch-Pakistani poet, author, journalist, and founding chairman of the Muslim United Nations. He served in the Pakistan Army and received War Medal from the Pakistan Army. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in literature, and also a Bachelor of Law degree from Karachi University. He has published poetry, quotes books in Urdu and English and Dutch as well.

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