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Published Date: Jan 14, 2020

Experts termed FM’s visit to Iran and KSA ill-conceived, ill-prepared

(Monday, January 13, 2020):

High Commissioner of Pakistan to India, Ambassador (Retd.) Abdul Basit
on Monday said that in the current scenario, Pakistan’s diplomatic moves, and
position seems lacking tactical clarity, strategic vision, and capacity. He
said that amidst Middle East crisis, the recent visits of the Foreign Minister
to Iran and Saudi Arabia were ill-conceived and ill-prepared, knowing the fact
that the situation in ME wouldn’t be escalating and the country has very little
leverage to play any significant role.

made these remarks during a special seminar titled “Changing Global Power Dynamics:
Policy options for Pakistan”
organised the Sustainable Development Policy
Institute (SDPI), Islamabad.

said that the diplomacy is art of agreeing on the feasible in order to advance
the desirable. However, unfortunately, in the case of Pakistan, there is a lack
of any amelioration on diplomatic front, as our foreign missions are not
equipped and trained enough to fight the case of the country effectively and
promoting the country’s narrative and positive image abroad.  He said that
almost every government in the country could not put much sense on hardcore
diplomacy, which reflects that how we have been dealing with CPEC and Kashmir
issues etc.

to the current tension between Tehran and Washington, and Pakistan’s
ill-prepared diplomacy to play the role of mediation in order to de-escalate
the situation in ME, the issue of Kashmir has been put on the back burner”,
said Basit adding there is hardly any  emphasis on the economic-diplomacy
of our foreign office to resolve our own grave issues and challenges instead of

observed that Pakistan’s foreign policy still lacks clarity, as we always
waiting for miracles to happen. He urged the government to be more realistic on
diplomatic fronts and focused on improving domestic governance.

Minister of State for Investment, Haroon Shareef
that there is a shift happening in economic gravity from the unipolar to multi
polar, whereby 2050, there will be multiple centers of the economic power and
most of them will be in the Asia region. He said that this century is Asia’s
century, where Pakistan holds the central position due to its geo-strategic
location with China at the top of the economic power. Pakistan is showing
positive signs of getting out of existential threats such as extremism and
terrorism, which would help Pakistan improve its image on the economic front.

said that big economic transactions remained the major challenge of Pakistan’s
economy, where the country require to build its capacity to gain the confidence
of foreign investors and private sector. Moreover, Pakistan also needs to shift
its focus from geo-strategic partnership towards economic partnership.

Asia region to be next economic hub of the world, the one of the biggest
challenge for Pakistan is to catch-up the with the emerging Asia century to
gain economic dividends”, said Haroon adding that with the current growth rate
of 3 percent, the country would not be able to achieve desirable economic
benefits.  In order to get of economic quagmire, Pakistan needs to change
its mindset and start looking at the revival of the economy with a structural
shift in institutional arrangements, attracting more foreign direct investments
instead of hot money and need to improved dispute management system to gain the
confidence of the international investors and community, he added.  

Jochen Hippler
, Resident Director,
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) said the great powers, even in the changing
global power dynamics, really don’t respect or care about the countries who are
growing and rising or willing to rise. He said no world power or any country
will resolve the issue of Pakistan, instead of taking care of its own national
interest. If there is any illusion of love with any country, it will eventually
prove a disappointment, as no country can resolve other’s country complex
domestic problems, he added.

called upon the government to establish an effective and indigenous governance
mechanism that could deliver to its own people and help resolve the domestic
challenges, instead of looking towards foreign solutions and aid.

Shakeel Ahmed Ramay, Director, China Study
Center, SDPI moderated the session and Ayesha Ilyas, Research Associate,
SDPI gives the welcome remarks, earlier.