Isolated, Pak hints tectonic shift in its foreign policy

RSTV Bureau

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Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the latter on Wednesday dropped hints that it will move towards China and Russia if its views on Kashmir and India are not considered by the United States. There has been a spike in tension after repeated ceasefire violation by Pakistan across the LoC and attacks on the Indian security forces by the terror groups, backed by Pakistan establishment.

With India resorting to tough posture, especially after the terror attack on the army camp in Uri last month, Pakistan has found itself globally isolated on the issue of terror. Most notable was the cancellation of SAARC summit in Islamabad after India opted out, leading to other member nations too pulling out.

Besides, India have also accused Pakistan of fanning tension in Kashmir valley, which is reeling under curfew since July and witnessing clashes between the security personnel and stone-pelting local protestors.

And now, even drawing flak from US over the issue of terror attacks in India and tension in Kashmir, Pakistan hinted tectonic shift in its foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis United States.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council, one of the top American think-tanks, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s envoys Mushahid Hussain Syed and Shazra Mansab termed America as a “declining” world power and went to the extent of saying that Pakistan would move towards China and Russia if its views on Kashmir and India are not considered.

Xinjiang: Chinese and Pakistan troops jointly patrolling the border connecting PoK with Xinjiang region, July 22, 2016. Photo - PTI/The People's Daily Online

Xinjiang: Chinese and Pakistan troops jointly patrolling the border connecting PoK with Xinjiang region, July 22, 2016.
Photo – PTI/The People’s Daily Online

“(The) US is no longer a world power. It is a declining power. Forget about it,” Mushahid Hussain Syed was quoted as saying after the conclusion of an interaction at the Atlantic Council.

With no takers for Pakistan’s Kashmir policy, Syed said China is now an important factor in South Asia and described Beijing as part of what he termed as Greater South Asia. In July, Sino and Pakistan troops had conducted a joint patrolling of the area connecting Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) with Xinjiang province of China.

Syed was responding to a question from a member in the audience after the conclusion of the 90-minute interaction, where he mentioned China and newly perceived relationship with Russia.

“There has been slow and steady building of relationship between Moscow and Islamabad,” he said, referring to the joint military exercise between Pakistan and Russia.

Nawaz Sharif’s envoy also claimed that Russian government has for the first time agreed to sell arms to Pakistan and the US should take note of this changing regional alignment.

“Unfortunately under the Obama administration, there was a drift in American foreign policy towards our region, towards Afghanistan. There was confusion and there was a lot of flip-flops. I think, the Obama administration could not figure out this region Afghanistan and Pakistan and as a consequence this region suffered,” Mushahid Hussain Syed said.

(Agencies)