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Regional Security concerns for Pakistan: Affecting Foreign Policy

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Regional Security concerns for Pakistan: Affecting Foreign Policy

For the formulation of smooth foreign policy, a state is dictated towards regional security concerns. These concerns play a vital role in defining the relations among neighbors. Pakistan is encircled by security threats from the neighbor side.

Three out of four have ongoing issues since the beginning and it is affecting the foreign policy of Islamabad. Whilst going through its own internal security concerns, the regional threats pose major challenges in the policy formulation of Islamabad.

The cross-border activities on three sides Afghanistan, Iran, and India have been used mainly for security issues. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

Regional Security concerns for Pakistan: Affecting Foreign Policy

The security dilemma of Pakistan is faced by two factors, internal and external. The internal factions were created by the non-state organizations such as TTP, Al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network while the insecurity posed by external factors is from the Eastern and Western borders. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

Although Pakistan remains successful in countering the war against terrorism, the other factor of external insecurities is yet to be solved.

The cross-border concerns of Pakistan with India and Afghanistan have been deep-rooted and unstable. Such factions lead to creating regional blockade for the formulation of better foreign policy.

For a better understanding of the regional security issues for Pakistan, the generic concerns of the objectives of the US in Afghanistan, politics, and interests of India, and the internal situation of Afghanistan is necessary. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

The US war in Afghanistan was meant to dismantle the terrorist organizations, cause many refugees to enter Pakistan. This view was shredded by the Taliban and took advantage of spreading terrorism which later on led to a major hurdle for Pakistan.

The US interests in Afghanistan were to check over the region especially China and Iran by making India an ally. Although, the recent US-Afghan peace talks under the supervision of Donald Trump, gave hope not only to the Afghan Taliban but also to the regional peace. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

The foreign policy of Pakistan for Afghanistan remained clear throughout. It has always played a leading role in negotiating between the US and Afghan Taliban, in the Doha deal leaving India completely out of the deal. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

The peace talks gave four concerning points which include withdrawal of 5000 troops of US and NATO, Afghan Taliban sharing the government, US and NATO fighting ISIS, and guarantee to never use the Afghan land for fighting purposes. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

It was considered as a success for Pakistan’s foreign policy, but the new administration of Joe Biden clearly disagrees with the deal as they say it was a rush-out deal made by Trump. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

The interests of India in Afghanistan differ from time to time, but one remains constant, to show the hegemony in the region. Pakistan countering the strategy by making China an ally. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

The worst-hit to India occurs when in the Doha deal, Pakistan and the USA did not felt to involve India in such matters. India’s interest showed to counter the Pakistani influence in Afghanistan and build relations of its own. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

Pakistan’s foreign policy in regard to this has remained clear. The influence in Afghanistan is necessary to overt the cross-border tensions between both states and counter-terrorism as possible. While India’s interests as seen through the Chahbahar deal put no question for Pakistan but to deal with the security concerns. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

Pakistan-India rivalry has remained since its creation. Both the states are engaged in the Kashmir dispute, water crisis, and cross-border terrorism. These factors led both countries to fight wars. Dagger drawn over the issue of Kashmir, both states have become equal rivals in such matters. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

India on the other hand, showed full support of sabotaging Baluchistan through the Chahbahar. India’s concern and the case of Kul Bhushan Yadav made a clear-cut way for Pakistan to counter the actions of India.

As of now, Iran took Chabahar to deal out of the hands of India because of security reasons while China being a great economy, does not indulge or promote the neighbors to fight due to its huge investment in the region.

Pakistan’s security concerns in the region pass through the light of a huge burden due to neighbors. Stability and positivity cannot be reached until these security issues are not solved. Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

Islamabad needs to adopt a clear policy for making Afghanistan a strategic partner in trade and solutions to the issues with India. It is a need of an hour to promote trade in the region.

Read more: Israel’s President meets Pakistan Delegation

Regional Security concerns for Pakistan

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Muhammad Jamal Akbar is an IR graduate from Quaid e Azam University. He is a Research Associate at IICR with expertise in Public policy, regional security, and defense.

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