Ignoring the golden rules of foreign policy


The creation of Pakistan was a unique event for the Muslims of sub-continent. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who is founding father of Pakistan, took oath as the first governor general of Pakistan. He was president of Muslim League which was biggest political party at that time. As president of the constituent assembly he headed the central legislature. This was the status which put major portion of responsibility upon Quaid’s shoulders and nation was looking towards him for leadership. Quaid-i-Azam took the challenge and was equal match to the occasion. This role was multifaceted but here we would focus upon his contribution and role in the area of foreign policy and foreign relations of Pakistan.

Foreign policy is an important element of any state. It is the source by which a state translate its broadly visualized goals and interests into concrete courses of action to there objectives and preserve its interests.

In the first cabinet of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam designated Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan as Prime Minister. At the same time, he was holding the office of Foreign Minister, Defense Minister and Minister for common wealth relations. This is how Pakistan started her working in Foreign Office. After partition, India had inherited the membership of various International Organizations. Pakistan, therefore, immediately after its independence, put up and application for the membership of the United Nations. So, Pakistan was formally admitted into United Nations on the 30th September, 1947.this was Quaid’s initiative who was firm believer to be part of international community and live peacefully.

Ever since the creation of Pakistan, the basic aim of its foreign policy has been peace at home and abroad and friendship towards all nations of the world. Despite her best efforts, Pakistan did not have friendly relations with Afghanistan, the only country which opposed her entry into the United Nations. At the time of her establishment, the Afghan Government urged the Pakistani tribals to rise and create an independent state of their own. It also tried to win over their sympathies through all kinds of methods and propaganda. In this respect, she was given full backing by India, which wanted to divert the attention of tribes from Kashmir.

Quaid-i-Azam made every endeavor to establish friendly ties with Afghan Government. On 3rd December, 1947, he remarked that;

“The Government and the people of Pakistan entertain nothing but feeling of warmest friendship towards the Muslim Kingdom of Afghanistan which is our closest neighbor and with whom for many centuries and for many generations the people of Pakistan have had countless religious, cultural relations and I hope that the two Governments will soon be able to settle and adjust, in a spirit of goodwill for the benefit of both.”

But Afghanistan could not give up her hostile attitude. Even today, after 61 years, Afghan Government remained unable to change her ill will and enmity for Pakistan. Indian Government is successfully using Afghanistan to keep Pakistan under pressure.

Indian hostility created many problems for Pakistan since its inception. India could not prove herself a reliable neighbor of Pakistan. Both states gone through many ups and downs in their relations. India adopted a policy of enmity towards Pakistan; where as the main objective of Quaid-i-Azam was to follow a policy of friendship and goodwill towards India. On August 15, 1947, Quaid-i-Azam declared that “we want to live peacefully and maintain cordial relation with our immediate neighbors and with world at large.”

In his message to India, the Quaid-i-Azam said “The past must be buried and let us start afresh as two independent sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan.” Soon after partition of India it became apparent that Indian leaders had never fully reconciled themselves to the creation of Pakistan. They have indicated on many occasions that partition of India was merely a temporary arrangement/division, and hopes have often been expressed in India that seceding areas would beg for union.

Quaid-i-Azam was very much conscious on this issue and always rejected the designs of Indian leadership. Quaid-i-Azam given an interview to the Reuter’s correspondent on 23rd October, 1947 and washed away all kind of confusion. He said that;

“I want to make it quite clear that Pakistan will never surrender and never agree in any shape or form to any constituent union between the two sovereign states with one common centre.”

He further continued that;

“Pakistan has come to stay and will stay. But we are always ready to come to an understanding or enter into agreement with Hindustan, as two independent and equal sovereign states. Just as we may have our alliances or friendship and agreement with any other foreign nations.”

The father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah has given the guiding principles of our foreign policy in his broadcast speech to the people of United States of America in February 1948 in following words.

“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodness towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive design against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world”.

Our policy makers ignored these golden rules of foreign policy and become “most allied ally”. These alliances always betrayed Pakistan. Pakistan is facing the fruits of folly of its leaders. Our alliances must be driven by our own ‘National Interest’ but not by the requirements of others. After Feb 18 election, we have parliament in Pakistan and it should draw the line of national interest in front of such alliances. The parliament should discuss the pros and cons of war on terror and put limits on it, if we can not say goodbye to it. At the same time, Pakistan and India relations and tension must be brought before parliament. Its deliberations should be implemented in letter and spirit, rather than taking steps in hurry. This would be exactly what Quaid-i-Azam was thinking of Pakistan’s foreign policy as an independent state.

Above discussion shows that it was very difficult to formulate the foreign policy of Pakistan in initial critical days. There were some imperatives of our foreign policy at that time. There was need to tackle the propaganda against the viability of Pakistan. She was also required to maintain its National security on Independence. Pakistan was economically crippled. So, she has to secure her economic interests through its foreign policy. Pakistan was having ideological basis. Therefore she has to pursue its ideological objectives in Islamic Solidarity and keep herself aligned with democratic blocks. Quaid-i-Azam addressed all these issues successfully and took such steps which helped Pakistan to come out of this crisis. Pakistan adopted such foreign policy under the guidance of Quaid-i-Azam which produced positive results. Pakistan managed to secure our national security and economic interests. Our security and economic concerns started to be addressed. On the other hand, Pakistan also successfully attached herself with its ideological base. All these things took place under the able and dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and he shaped the future course of foreign policy which Pakistan was supposed to follow for years to come.

Daily DAWN, 25th December,2008

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