Review of Pakistan Foreign Policy (1947-1980)

Review of Pakistan Foreign Policy (1947-1980)

Pakistan’s foreign policy is an important subject, which has enjoyed the interest of many analysts and researchers. Pakistan, despite its meager resources, chronic political instability and without having the benefit of legitimacy and crystallized traditions, has played a significant role in South and South-West Asia. This has been made possible mainly by its Geo-strategic location. A part from its location before 1971 Pakistan was the largest, strongest and most important country.

Pakistan came in to existence as a result of the partition of India in 1947. Product of two-nation theory propounded by Jinnah, the transfer of power was marked by communal bloodshed and the loss of million lives. When the government has not even settled down Pakistan had war with India over Kashmir. This issue has continued to poison relations between the two countries and while it has served as a focus for Pakistani nationalist feelings, the Kashmir problem has had an unsettling effect on internal politics.

Initially Pakistan kept itself from the bipolar politics. During the first phase, the framers of Pakistan’s foreign policy aimed at seeking friendly relations with the Islamic countries and followed what may be called a policy of non-alignment, while during the second phase Pakistan followed a policy of total alignment within the Western Block just because of security consideration. During this period Pakistan joined SEATO and CENTO. These alliances naturally led to a deterioration of Pakistan’s relation with India. The massive military assistance received by Pakistan from America and other western States created a sense of insecurity in India. It also made settlement of Indo-Pak disputes difficult.

Pakistan had problems with Afghanistan over the issues of the demand of an autonomous Pakhtunistan by the tribal and Durand Line. The Afghan government has supported this demand, when a leftist government of Tarkai came to power in Afghanistan; Pakistan gave shelter and weapons to Afghan rebels. In December 1979 Russian Army entered in Afghanistan in support of the government of president Kamal. The Soviet Union had warned Pakistan to desist from interference in Afghan affairs. On the other hand USA and China went to arm Pakistan to meet any eventuality.