Mega Failure of our Foreign Policy
Lahore, 7th June: Pakistan’s renowned center-right anchorperson, Mubasher Lucman will now be writing for the prestigious digital news website, Baaghi TV.
Mubasher Lucman is an investigative journalist, who has been in this field for the last 25 years, highlighting social and political issues faced by the country.
In the following article, Mubasher Lucman points out the failure of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy.
He writes: The recent debate on the Hamid Mir issue has given me a serious headache. I am one of those who can proudly claim they refused foreign nationality more than once. Not just an opportunity but serious offers.
One always believed that we are and will be a great regional player in the years to come. However, sadly with the passage of time, this euphoria is not only short-lived but now brings many sleepless nights.
Pakistan is being pushed into the abyss of darkness. Most of our policies, be it domestic or foreign are mostly reactive and non-consistent.
There is hardly any debate on core issues resulting in serious reprimand consequently. The list is endless and one can ski down the list comfortably, it is so long and continuous.
Never did I ever think that Bangladesh will be a threat to us in cricket or bypass us economically. Sri Lanka and Nepal will become more attractive tourist destinations.
India despite its poverty will continue to lure the west and its dollars.
Our very own State Bank will be held hostage for whatever reasons. We will not be able to exploit the capture of Kulbushan Yadev and fail to gain international support while there exists sufficient evidence of foreign involvement and multiple terrorist activities across the country.
Our politicians are inept and continue to rely on increasing polarisation. Our Establishment is at a loss for words. Any words of wisdom fall on deaf ears and we continue with our age-old rhetoric repeatedly, knowing fully well it has never helped us nor is strong enough to steer us out of murky waters.
We are isolated internationally and for the first time, things are scary. We are neither believed nor considered enlightened enough to be taken seriously.
Our mainstream media is primarily in our local languages that are hardly understood internationally and our social media is busy targeting Malalas of the word and spreading venom and hate.
Our Foreign Minister with one statement alienates us successfully from the entire Middle Eastern country something no one ever managed and our Information Minister “Contests” leading media houses to make us look dangerously inept.
Media bashing is not only counterproductive but also helps build a terrible narrative of us as a society.
As a television anchor, it is very easy to go on air, blast the CIA, Non-Muslims, and everyone else for the ills in our society and get top ratings.
Any talk about reconciliation and revisiting our foreign policy is frowned upon or bashed effectively.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his book, ‘The Great Tragedy’ wrote, “We are standing on crossroads whence all but one way leads to destruction…”
Never has this statement hounded me more than today. It is a reflection of our collective failures and inability to segregate fact from fiction.
Let the politicians and the establishment know the facts. Like it or not we not only depend on the United States but without their full support we will suffocate in the true sense of the word.
We are on a very weak wicket when it comes to:
6.Freedom of speech
7.Freedom of the press
One look at the Democrats manifesto or Joe Biden’s election campaign and you will realize why these issues continue to develop a very negative perception of ours for those in Washington or the European Union?
Every time something happens corresponding to any of the issues above is dutifully recorded, logged, and filed in the EU or USA files. These will be brought out when needed.
Contrary to popular opinion perceptions will be built on the above and brought out to shame us repeatedly. Something our Foreign Minister or his team fail to comprehend.
If you sit on a wall and speculate, then the case against us is increasingly overwhelming and hard-hitting.
Our casual approach has led us nowhere. We ignored the European Parliament and were slapped by a vote of 655 members against it with only 3 in our favor.
Like it or not the European Union is a strategic ally of Joe Biden and his team and these notes are frequently compared and exchanged.
For the first time in history, we have alienated ourselves from traditional rivals. Those who never got along with each other are together in their cumulative dismay over our policies.
China, USA, KSA, Iran, Turkey, and the UAE; none seem to take us seriously and continue to deal with us with a pinch of salt. We are now truly successful as being the main agenda item on multiple watchlists of the world, especially those in the West.
Our traditional supporters and friends in the Middle East are varied from us. We can’t seem to run our own country and are adamant to show them how to run theirs.
We are sitting on practically last warnings from multiple countries in the region. Do not be under any illusions, they have the ability to destroy and crush our feeble economy without much effort thanks to already alienated World Bank, IMF, and other monetary agencies. Add to that FATF and red list by the UK it is an uphill task to steer around.
We have to act and be seen as responsible, tolerant, and responsible citizens of the World. We cannot live in isolation anymore. This is the age of coexistence or no-existence. We cannot afford a Foreign Minister or an Information minister neither of whom appreciate the International Red Lines and continue to mock them and help the case against Pakistan get stronger.
For us, it may be trivial, but acts like the door breaking of Maryam Nawaz, Kidnapping of Mati Ullah Jan, shooting off Absar Alam, and manhandling of Asad Toor are extremely counterproductive and in an ever-increasing list of intolerance by us as a nation.
We may argue and perhaps rightly that many of our political parties have foreign handlers, but then it becomes extremely important and vital to deal with such issues with more care and transparency.
The effective narrative building by Nawaz Shareef has put the Military Establishment on the back foot. A case against them is not only made but with each passing day amplified and trumpeted with more enthusiasm.
We have never been more isolated and our reactions have never been more childish than what we witness now.
The establishment is keen to talk to Shehbaz Shareef as between him and Asif Zardari lies our road to democracy. So much so for maligning them repeatedly and building a case that is built around our own necks now.
This is a massive shift in our power politics and it is increasingly apparent when the puppet regime is not able to function or deliver even on one front.
The government horse is neither running nor performing , extreme unpopularity, inflation, corruption, instability, infighting are causing serious lack of hope for all segments of the society.
Key ministers are now openly defying and contradicting establishment on record. Prime Minister takes the lead in this regard.
Where will it end!! On top of that icing on the cake is to alienate media and refer to “deep pockets”” when they identify any weak areas in your governance or foreign policy.
This is the 21st century, the world has moved on and we need to revisit our domestic and foreign policy both.
Coming back to Hamid Mir and my headache. Anyone got a Panadol, please??
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