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Strategic shift?

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WITH the geopolitical landscape of our region changing fast, many optimists say they are able to see a shift in Pakistan’s geostrategic approach. Some believe this shift is largely oriented towards geo-economics, and if established, it would be a major doctrinal shift. But so far, state institutions have not hinted at that in their statements. Or perhaps, this is merely an issue of a different reading of their actions.

Pakistan’s faltering economic indicators do not lend weight to such notions that the state is making some expedient efforts to strengthen its geostrategic or geo-economic approach. For one, even the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which was until recently projected as a game-changer for the country’s weak economy, has become a victim of the short-sightedness of state institutions. However, those seeing a shift in Pakistan’s geostrategic approach do not use economy-related arguments only; they also highlight the changing geopolitical behaviour of the state, specifically towards Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process is vital. It was widely appreciated as being instrumental in sealing the US-Afghan Taliban deal of Feb 29. But this does not reflect any change in Pakistan’s strategic approach. Instead, it supports its long-standing position; it has long been advocating that a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and other Afghan stakeholders is a viable solution for Afghanistan.

Pakistan has facilitated talks between the US and the Taliban because of several reasons. First, the US has acknowledged Pakistan’s stance of negotiated settlement. Secondly, the Belt and Road........

© Dawn

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