In a speech at the Asia Society in New York this September, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar laid out a foreign policy agenda that she described as Pakistan’s “regional pivot” within Asia. Khar explained that Pakistan would now pay more attention to building and stabilizing relations within its immediate region. In arguing that Pakistan was on the path to normalizing relations with its neighbors, Khar pointed to Islamabad’s pursuit of policies that privileged enhanced trade relations and energy cooperation over zero-sum security competitions. For many in attendance the speech was both surprising and intriguing.
The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), to which Khar belongs, has been championing liberalism in Pakistani foreign policy for the past few years. Beginning with the late Benazir Bhutto and continuing through to Bhutto’s husband, current Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, party leaders have rooted their foreign policy vision in liberal international relations concepts such as the democratic peace theory, whereby democracies don’t go to war with one another, while framing increased economic interdependence as a driver of peace among nations. The crucial question, of course, is whether this liberal discourse represents actual shifts in Pakistan’s policies, or if it is mere rhetoric. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $9 monthly or $59/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- For Europe in Afghanistan, Long-term Commitment Despite Lack of Interests
- China-India Border Incident Highlights Uncertainties in Bilateral Relations
- Global Insights: Sharif’s Victory Offers U.S. Opportunity to Reset Pakistan Ties
- Sharif Poised for Return to National Stage in Pakistan Elections
- As U.S. Leaves Afghanistan, India Reconsiders Iran Policy