Wed, 31 May 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 18 (ANI): Pakistan's National Security Policy seems a signal to the Western nations that while their monetary assistance is welcome but they should expect no military/logistic favours or any 'strategic' concessions.

Prime Minister Imran Khan who unveiled the 50-page public version of the 110-page document (the latter remains classified), makes it clear that Pakistan was not ready to allow military bases. He was reiterating the resolve announced last year when the United States seriously sought military base facilities for evacuating from Afghanistan and monitoring the new Taliban regime, according to International Forum for Rights and Security.

The NSP report states that Communicating Pakistan's concerns to policymakers in Washington while seeking to broaden our partnership beyond a narrow counter-terrorism focus will be a priority for Islamabad.

The above observation goes against the very basis, even the grain of Pakistan that was conceived as part of the "camp politics" as it existed post-World War 2. Pakistan happily sought to be incorporated into now-defunct CENTO and SEATO that were built as bulwarks against the then Soviet Union and the newly-formed communist China. Its military and nuclear might were built with Western help, till it partly switched over to China, according to International Forum for Rights and Security.

That Pakistan now wants to stay out of 'blocs' comes when it perceives itself firmly and cosily with China, which is the new pole of this century's bloc-politics, with the United States forming the other end with its allies in Europe and in Asia.

The current US-China tussle for dominance, both global and regional, places Pakistan close to China - except that Pakistan is currently seeking yet another tranche of loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is dependent upon the World Bank as well.

Hence, the bold declaration in the NSP that Pakistan wants to switch, or balance its emphasis on geo-politics with geo-economics may have relevance in the region, but it cannot help it escape the obligations that the Western monetary assistance is bound to entail.

The NSP document as also the prime minister, has lamented that Pakistan needed to have inclusive growth, but "compulsions to acquire loans from institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put the national economy at risk". But it will be a very long time, assuming it has begun to work, right away, on its plans announced on January 14 to free itself from dependence on foreign assistance, as per International Forum for Rights and Security. (ANI)

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