Pakistan today faces the geopolitical challenge of balancing between the US and China and choosing between Turkey and the Arab world, besides suffering from internal fault lines like the Pashtun, Baloch, and Sindhi movements amidst a highly radicalised society.
To discuss on the future of Pakistan and its impact on geopolitical dynamics, Usanas Foundation and Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) jointly organised an in-house webinar on “Pakistan’s Future: Geopolitical Dilemmas, Economic Woes and Troubling Fault Lines” by bringing together prominent experts on Pakistan from India as well as the world.
The speakers in the event were Deputy Director of Asia Program at Woodrow Wilson Centre, Michael Kugelman; Former Bureau Chief of Reuters and Pakistan expert, Myra MacDonald; geopolitical expert Sushant Sareen; Member of the National Security Advisory Board and VIF consultant, Tilak Devasher; and the Director of Vivekananda International Foundation, Arvind Gupta.
Pakistan is a troubled state, and its geo-strategic location makes it troublesome for the region and the globe. During the recent Islamabad Security Dialogue, General Bajwa’s speech suggested that there is a possibility for new thinking evident in Pakistan’s policymakers. The new thinking aims at making Pakistan a geo-economics’ hub and project its image as a responsible state focussed on development.
However the participants were sceptical whether such new line of thinking can be sustained or not as Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir proxy war and its support for the rogue Taliban regime will prevent all possibilities of cutting of ties with the terrorist organisations. Geo-economic will shift the state narrative from security to development which will not be in the best interests of the Pakistan’s army which continues to have a disproportionate control over the state resources.
On the diplomatic front, Pakistan will face new dilemmas and conundrums. Islamabad’s growing proximity with China, Russia and Turkey will alienate the US and the Arab Muslim world.