Pak preoccupied with jihad, needs to reevaluate approach: Ex-diplomat Haqqani

Sep 16, 2023 01:59 PM IST

Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, urged Pakistan to reevaluate its approach to global affairs and prioritize pragmatism.

Elements within Pakistan's government and military have long been accused of supporting jihadist groups in India and Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad vehemently denies. Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, has now called upon Pakistan to reevaluate its approach to global affairs, emphasizing the importance of pragmatism in a changing world.

Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani. (Photo courtesy:
Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani. (Photo courtesy:

In an article for Pak-based The News, Haqqani highlighted Pakistan's preoccupation with internal power struggles and jihad in the neighbourhood over the past three decades. He argued that this focus has hindered Pakistan's ability to grasp the profound changes that have occurred globally since the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.

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“Having been an American ally from the 1950s through the 1980s, Pakistan should have benefited from the unipolar moment when the United States dominated the world order. Instead, the unwise choice was made to add anti-Americanism to the negativity about India that had been part of the national DNA since independence,” he wrote.

Haqqani pointed out that despite the US-China rivalry and the 1962 border war between China and India, these nations have continued trading while keeping political and security matters separate from economic interests. While acknowledging China's growing assertiveness in shaping the global order under the leadership of Xi Jinping, he noted that the shared economic interests between China and the West have acted as a restraint on hardliners from both sides, contributing to global peace.

The former ambassador highlighted another example of pragmatism found in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has remained a vocal supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of certain Israeli policies. However, in 2020, the UAE took a leadership role in the 'Abraham Peace Accords,' normalizing relations between Arab nations and Israel, with potential benefits for both sides.

He concluded by underscoring Pakistan's need to shift its focus from political disputes, ideology, and delusions of grandeur to embrace an educated workforce, wealth production, and leadership capable of adapting to global changes.

Read the full article here

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