Foreign Policy of Pakistan Post 9/11

The foreign policy of Pakistan post 9/11

As is evident from the statement, the foreign policy of Pakistan post 9/11 is different from the foreign policy of Pakistan in general. The question of whether the elites of Pakistan had maintained a balanced foreign policy post 9/11 can be a subjective topic; I will be giving my opinion on that question later on. So, what is the foreign policy of Pakistan? It is a complex question as there is no written document that could tell a layman point by point what the leadership is pursuing its nations’ interests. However, the behavior and stance on International issues and the relationship with other states explains the policy quite clearly. The foreign policy of Pakistan has seen no considerable shifts in its history. The post 9/11 era manifested Pakistan’s stance and put it alongside the US against terrorism.

Who was responsible for 9/11?

The 9/11 incident, where thousands of American citizens died when the World Trade Centre collapsed after some planes crashed into it. It was taken hardly by the US leadership which announced an open war against the perpetrators. The US put the blame on Osama Bin Laden, who was then residing in Afghanistan under the shelter of the Taliban government headed by Mulla Umar. Many people believe that the US had received many warnings about the incident beforehand, but the leadership ignored it. There are few who even believe that it was carried out by the US itself to gain a pretext to invade Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the Taliban never took responsibility for the 9/11 World Trade Centre collapsed and the US continued to put the disaster on the Taliban.

The foreign policy of Pakistan post 9/11 and its challenges

The foreign policy of Pakistan after 9/11 was drastically shifted with respect to Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan were friendly neighbors and allies. Pakistan, under the leadership of General Pervez Musharraf, was facing a huge challenge in shaping its foreign policy when the US asked him to take its side. General Musharraf wrote in his book that the US had warned Pakistan “Either you are with us, or against us”. Under such circumstances, when Pakistan wasn’t a nuclear power and not even economically stable, it had to be on the Superpower’s side. General Musharraf faced severe criticism, but he remained firm and supported the US in fighting and invading Afghanistan to tackle the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. He gave Pakistani airspace to the US forces to take out the Taliban in Afghanistan, few of them flew into Pakistan, and Pakistan had to tackle the huge influx of migrants. It brought terrorism to Pakistan. We can argue that the stance was a disaster for Pakistan’s future, and it proved to be but Pakistan had limited options. However, the better stance would have been to avoid getting into the US-led war against terrorism and consider national interest the top priority.

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