Every State Designs Its Foreign Policy On National Interests Rejecting Feelings And Emotions. Why Did Pakistan Prefer Emotions, Feelings, And Ideology In Its Foreign Policy? Also, Analyze Its Impacts

Every state designs its foreign policy on its National interests rejecting feelings and emotions. Why did Pakistan prefer emotions, feelings, and ideology in its foreign policy? Also, analyze its impact.

CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers | Every State Designs Its Foreign Policy On National Interests Rejecting Feelings And Emotions. Why Did Pakistan Prefer Emotions, Feelings, And Ideology In Its Foreign Policy? Also, Analyze Its Impacts

The following question of CSS Pakistan Affairs 2022 is solved by Irum Arif under the supervision of Miss Nirmal Hasni. She learnt how to attempt 20 marks question and essay writing from Sir Syed Kazim Ali, Pakistan’s best CSS and PMS English essay and precis teacher with the highest success rate of his students. This solved past paper question is attempted on the pattern taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory and optional subjects for years, and uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question Breakdown

In this question, the examiner asked you to highlight why Pakistan’s foreign policy is a product of feelings, emotions and ideology rather than national interests. Simply put, you need to explain the reasons behind the country’s emotional and ideological foreign policy decisions. When done, the next step is to write the impacts of such foreign policy on Pakistan. Remember, writing too much will never reward you highest marks; what awards you maximum marks is to address what is being asked. After this, you can also give some suggestions and a way forward in your answer about how Pakistan can develop an efficient foreign policy based on national interests. However, it is not important to give suggestions, so you can do this part if you have time. Lastly, end your answer with powerful critical analysis and a conclusion paragraph.


1. Introduction

  • An efficient foreign policy is a sine qua non for the social, political and economic development. 
  • Since its inception, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been based on feelings, emotions and ideology.
  • Such a foreign policy has impacted the country in multiple ways through the presence of unnecessary enemies, lack of neutral policies, and victimization by hybrid warfare.

2. What is foreign policy? Why is it important?

3. Why is Pakistan’s foreign policy run by emotions and feelings rather than national interests?

  • Attachment to Muslim Identity
  • The bloody history of independence
  • Counter the Indian threat

4. What are the impacts of preferring emotions, feelings and ideology in foreign policy for Pakistan?

  • Permanency in enmity with India
  • Less prestigious position in the comity of nations
  • Being the victim of hybrid and proxy warfare due to emotional policies
  • Lack of neutral foreign policy decisions

5. How can Pakistan alter its foreign policy?

  • put national interests before any emotions or feelings
  • improve relations with all the countries
  • adopt a neutral stance if a conflict arises between the ideologically similar states

6. Critical analysis

7. Conclusion

Answer to the Question


An efficient foreign policy is a sine qua non for a country’s social, political and economic development. A country with a strong, independent foreign policy based on national interests is always ahead of a country with an emotional foreign policy. It is evident that the Western countries that focus on promoting national interests are stronger in every respect than those where relations with other countries are developed based on historical emotions and feelings. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been based on feelings, emotions and ideology since its inception. There are various factors behind this state of affairs. For instance, the attachment to the Muslim ideological identity and the bloody history of independence made Pakistan decide on its enemies and friends since its creation. Similarly, to counter the Indian threat, ideological and emotional steps were taken. For example, it was repeatedly blocking the trade links with India or reviving the Kashmiri cause. Nevertheless, such a foreign policy has impacted the country in multiple ways, including through the presence of unnecessary enemies, lack of neutral policies, and victimization by hybrid warfare. Thus, there is a dire need for Pakistan to develop a foreign policy that is based on national interests rather than petty emotions, feelings or ideology. Only then would Pakistan be able to have a strong foreign policy and, in turn, a strengthened international standing.

The purpose of foreign policy is not to provide an outlet for our own sentiments of hope or indignation; it is to shape the real events in the real world.

John F Kennedy

Overview of the term Foreign Policy

The deepening of global interconnectedness has increased the interactions among the states necessitating a country to have a foreign policy. Foreign policy involves a set of principles that are made within the state’s borders and intended toward forces existing outside its borders. Even the policy of non-engagement comes under its auspices. Indeed, the importance of foreign policy cannot be undermined owing to the state’s objectives to protect its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and citizens. Moreover, foreign policy leads a state to fulfil its national interests and acquire a rightful place among the comity of nations, promoting its economic interests through bilateral and multilateral agreements. Thus, a country’s foreign policy increases interconnectedness among the states. 

“Foreign policy is all about a universe of decisions; every situation is different: the dynamics, the atmospherics, the people, the geopolitical reality shifts.”

Chuck Hagel

Why Is Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Run By Emotions And Feelings Rather Than The National Interests?

1. Attachment to Muslim Identity

Pakistan gained independence based on the two Nation theory, which meant that Muslims represent a separate nation from all other non-Muslims, including Hindus, Christians and Jews, which constitute a separate nation. The founding fathers of our nation made the Muslims realize that they could not have complete autonomy under the Hindu or British rule; there is a dire need to have a separate homeland where they could easily live their lives according to the principles of Islam. Thus, all the Muslims, irrespective of their castes and backgrounds, joined the Pakistan movement. The efforts of the Muslims, as a result, based on emotions and feelings, made possible the creation of an independent state. And even after getting independence, the founding fathers used the same strategy of emotions and feelings to keep the people united in a single state. Pakistan’s foreign policy also represents a similar attachment to the ideology and emotions in managing relations with other states. The states where Muslims suffered under non-Muslim rule are given due importance in foreign policy. The government tries to help out those Muslims through political and ideological support. For example, the Pakistani government has always supported the cause of Kashmir and Palestine, where Muslims suffer under the coercive rule of non-muslims. 

2. The bloody history of independence

Pakistan gained independence from United India in 1947. It was followed by a bloody migration from India to Pakistan and vice versa, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The extremist Hindus looted and killed the Muslims, and the people who were able to reach Pakistan were in miserable condition. The history of migration deeply impacted the psyche of the people of Pakistan, thus paving the way for a foreign policy based on feelings, emotions and ideology. 

3. Counter the Indian threat

Moreover, Pakistan prefers emotions, feelings and ideology in its foreign policy to overcome the threat emanating from India. India was able to divide Pakistan after interfering in the intra-state tensions between the eastern and western wings of the country in 1971. Since then, based on ideology, Pakistan has never trusted India to have good bilateral relations. To further counter the Indian designs, Pakistan supports the Kashmiri cause in all the regional and international forums.

Impacts Of Preferring Emotions, Feelings And Ideology In Foreign Policy For Pakistan

1. Permanency in enmity with India

Due to the foreign policy based on emotions and ideology, Pakistan has never been able to develop good relations with its eastern neighbour, India. Due to the backlog of violent history between the two countries, the country has not been able to develop efficient diplomatic and economic relations with India. As a result, Pakistan has to spend a large budget on its military to improve its defence capabilities and secure its borders. Moreover, the true potential of trade between the two countries has never been realized due to the continuous rivalry. It is in the national interest of Pakistan to improve the economic relations with India and resolve the issue of Kashmir; however, the emotions and ideology are not letting it move ahead.

2. Less prestigious position in the comity of nations

The indulgence of emotions and ideology in foreign relations has made Pakistan opt for emotional policies. Most of the time, these policies create conflicts with the countries where no actual enmity is involved. For instance, based on ideology and emotions, Pakistan refrained from recognizing the state of Israel and still fights for the rights of the Palestinian people. Moreover, based on ideology, the relations between Pakistan and France deteriorated when the latter encouraged its people to participate in the drawing-making competition regarding the Prophet of Islam. The focus on emotions and ideology is so great in Pakistan that its people- who seldom protest against military rule – always protest against anti-Islamic acts worldwide. This attitude of the people and the government of Pakistan has damaged the country’s position in the comity of nations. If national interest is followed, there is no need to have bad relations with these countries; there can be new trade opportunities for Pakistan if good relations are developed with them. However, the dominance of emotions over the national interest makes the country have conflictual relations with multiple countries. 

A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security.

Henry Kissinger

3. Being the victim of hybrid and proxy warfare due to emotional policies

Being vocal against the anti-Islamic acts worldwide – due to emotions and feelings – made Pakistan an enemy of many countries. The countries then employ various means to impact Pakistan and its people negatively. Sometimes the use of proxies and hybrid warfare techniques are used against Pakistan. According to EU disinfolabs, India employs proxy warfare against Pakistan. In the same manner, Israel and the USA also use 5th generation warfare against Pakistan. Thus, the foreign policy based on emotions, feelings and ideologies has impacted the country socially, politically and economically.

4. Lack of neutral foreign policy decisions

In the past, Pakistan had to make decisions on international relations, which were influenced by emotions and ideology. For example, because of the ideological affiliation with the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan called for humanitarian assistance even after the Taliban took over the government. Similarly, Pakistan could not adopt a clear-cut and neutral course of action regarding the Syrian and Yemen conflict due to its ideological affiliation with Iran and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the country has also been a victim of sectarian conflicts due to its ideological affiliation with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, Pakistan did not look after its own national interests and has followed the lead of ideologically similar nations due to the leading role of emotions, feelings and ideology in its foreign policy.

Ways to Have an Efficient Foreign Policy

An efficient foreign policy is a sine qua non for a country’s social, political, and economic development. In this lawless world, it is of great importance that enemies and friends are. In these times of globalization, no country can survive alone on its own; thus, it is significant to have a good foreign policy that helps to enhance good bilateral relations with maximum countries possible. This will result in diplomatic clout that would be difficult to break in case of aggression by some rival country. Thus, Pakistan needs to take several steps to have an efficient foreign policy. 

First, Pakistan must put its national interests before any emotions or feelings. For instance, it is in the national interest of Pakistan to improve its economy; a strong economy is vital for maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state. Moreover, the country’s economy can be improved if it enhances its trade relations with the neighbouring countries. And for this to happen, Pakistan has to resolve its longstanding issues with India as trade potential is worth USD 37 billion compared to the present trade volume of $293M, according to the World Bank report. 

“Foreign policy is a matter of costs and benefits, not theology.”

Fareed Zakarya

Second, Pakistan needs to try to improve its relations with all the countries, including the countries it does not recognize. Having enemies without any real issue can destabilize it internally because of the tactics of those countries. The use of hybrid warfare by Israel against Pakistan is a case in point. Never in the past have Pakistan and Israel fought any war; however, the hostility between the two countries is the cause of its ideological support of Pakistan for the Palestinian people. 

No nation could preserve its freedom amid continual warfare.

James Madison (US President)

Third, Pakistan must adopt a neutral stance in the ideological tussle between Iran and Saudi Arabia without fearing the consequences. For this to happen, first, Pakistan needs to improve its economic condition because of the reliance on Saudi Arabia for foreign aid. Pakistan listens to its dictation. The decision of Pakistan’s parliament not to join the war against Houthis in Yemen is an example of acting unbiasedly. 

If taken sagaciously, these steps can help Pakistan overcome the influence of emotions, feelings and ideology in its foreign policy.

Critical Analysis

In a critical diagnosis, Pakistan has always emphasised the emotions and feelings in dealing with other countries. From the very start, when it went to war against India in 1948, till the present, when it protested against the abrogation of article 370 of the Indian Constitution, Pakistan’s foreign policy is running on past ideological tussles and historical emotions. It is a fact that a country’s policies reflect the mindset and opinions of its public, and Pakistanis always get emotional regarding the Islamic ideology. Even if the state tries to formulate foreign policy according to the national interest, most of the people of Pakistan would never agree to be friends with countries that violate the basic principles of their Islamic ideology. The baggage of the emotions and feelings Pakistani have on their shoulders does not let them forget the past atrocities done by the rival states. Hence, it is not only about the government or the policymakers but also the people who are the main reason behind an emotional foreign policy.

Foreign policy is really a domestic policy with its hat on.

Hubert Humphrey


Since its inception, Pakistan has adopted a foreign policy based on feelings and emotions rather than preferring the national interest. The decision of the founding fathers to join America in the cold war against the godless communists of the Soviet Union was the first international decision Pakistan took as a country. Then the support for the Kashmiri people in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir again showed the dominance of emotions in international relations. Similarly, the decision of Pakistan not to recognize the state of Israel for the sake of the rights of the Palestinian people shows how ideology is rooted in Pakistan’s foreign policy. The role of emotions and feelings must not be encouraged in any country’s foreign policy-making as they refrain from making decisions based on the national interest. Therefore, it is pertinent for Pakistan to develop foreign policy goals that reflect national interest rather than mere feelings or ideology.


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