CSS Solved Current Affairs Past Paper 2022 | What Is ThePropose Prospective Foreign Policy Options For Pakistan In The Wake Of Russian Invasion Of Ukraine On 24 February 2022
In this question, the examiner asked you about the foreign policy options for Pakistan for diplomatically handling the Russian invasion of Ukraine. To attempt this question, you first need to write about the recent past of the conflict, i.e., the Russian invasion with the annexation of Crimea and Russian concern regarding the current situation. Second, about the response of the world, especially the USA and Pakistan. Thirdly, the impacts of invasion, and you will have to discuss the foreign policy options available for Pakistan. It would be better to quote the success stories regarding such policy options. It is highly recommended that you give a critical analysis and conclusion of the answer on the same pattern Sir Syed Kazim Ali taught you. Pakistan’s top Current Affairs coaches, Miss Nirmal Hasni and Miss Sana Farooq solve the question to help you understand how to deal with CA questions in the exams and score the maximum marks.
The bumpy roller-coaster ride of Pakistan’s foreign policy has espoused a neutral and independent pathway in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. However, Pakistan believes war is not the solution to any problem; one should adopt a diplomatic attitude to handle the issue. The ongoing conflict has the potential to jolt the economy of the world. Therefore, Pakistan should adopt some prospective foreign policy options: good offices, mediation, meeting with regional organizations such as SCO and SAARC, and the role of a third party, e.g. USA and China.
2- A glance at the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022
3. Reaction of the World
- UK and Alliances
4. Impact of the invasion on the world, especially in Pakistan
5. What would be the prospective foreign policy options for Pakistan in the wake of the Russian-Ukraine invasion episode?
- Use of good offices
- Diplomatic handling of regional connectivity
- Role of third parties, e.g. USA, China and regional organizations.
- Proposal of a diplomatic proposition: three-point formula.
6. Critical Analysis
Answer to the Question
The bumpy roller-coaster ride of Pakistan’s foreign policy has espoused a neutral and independent pathway in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Therefore, Pakistan should have to adopt some prospective foreign policy options to sustain itself in the competitive international political and strategic environment. As it has been evident from the universal statement, “To formulate a pragmatic, far-sighted foreign policy is to help the country become socially, politically, and economically stable.” Taking a general account, Russia and Ukraine- their shared border has become the centre of many looming issues:
- Territorial supremacy tussle.
- Increased NATO alliance along the edge of Russia.
- Ideological differences.
- The West expansion phobia of Russia since the decolonization of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
The full-scale invasion episode of the Crimean occupation in 2014, which led to the Ukraine invasion in 2022, is ample proof of it. Moreover, Russia is much keen on its security. The world response to attack depends intensely upon their ties with the big blocs, i.e. USA and Russia. However, Pakistan’s stance remains neutral. The country clearly stated that war is not the solution to any problem. Pakistan, having the beneficial geostrategic location for Russia-having access to warm waters via Afghanistan-would play a positive role in conflict resolution because peaceful co-existence is the basic principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan may use its good offices, become a mediator, or use regional organizations as a tool of foreign diplomacy in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
A glance at the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022
Russian- Ukraine crisis has its roots in the dismemberment of the Soviet Union (USSR) as a result of the cold war and Afghan war, leading to the Crimean occupation in 2014. The annexation took place after the Crimea referendum declared results in favour of Russia due to its pro-Russian demography. The crisis has taken its toll by the Russian backing of the separatist movement in the regions: Donetsk and Luhansk, creating more political unrest in south-eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a green signal to the invasion over the increasing role of the NATO alliance and Ukrainian’s integration with the European Union (EU). Later, the Minsk agreement, known as the Minsk Protocol, was signed by the belligerent groups. France and Germany acted as a mediator in that agreement. However, the unnecessary NATO exercises in Ukraine incited the sleeping giant “Russia”. The Russian invasion could be considered retaliation against the increased role of NATO and deployment of nuclear weapons alongside the borders of NATO alliances. Therefore, Russia took the invasion seriously and declared it a noble cause.
The reaction of the World USA
Amid the Russian-Ukraine war, the USA condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. It called it an “unprovoked and unjustified attack, ” holding Russia responsible for Ukraine’s human loss and infrastructure destruction. Furthermore, the USA imposed many economic sanctions on Russia, followed by the western bloc. It is aptly said:
“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”John Steinbeck
The United Kingdom and Alliances
The UK and the NATO alliances condemned the Russian invasion, which shows international condemnation following the footsteps of the USA. They declared the invasion “unjust“, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children. Turkey also condemned the Russian attack and denounced it as a “heavy blow” toward regional peace.
Being the major player in Asia along with Russia, China took a stance against the west and stated the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia. Both states enjoy strong bilateral ties and are also members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Additionally, BRICS states other than China refused to condemn the Russian attack.
Pakistan opted for a neutral stance over the Russian invasion. It condemned the resolution against Russia in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by stating that all doors for foreign diplomacy will be closed if the resolution is passed. Later on, the visit of the EX-Prime Minister of Pakistan created pressure on the country to condemn the attack and issue the reason for the visit. The visit was scheduled months ago; the countries have to discuss the 1100KM gas pipeline project costing $2.5 billion.
Impact of Russian Invasion
Russia faced economic sanctions from the world. The world, including the EU, banned its oil import. During the 100 days of the war, Russia had earned $100 billion from oil and gas exports. Additionally, the USA has frozen the foreign assets of the state bank of Russia, amounting to the sum of $630 billion. Due to the ongoing conflict, thousands of Russian individuals and businesses are banned by the US, UK and EU. As a result, they were leading the world towards oil and gas shortages and price hikes, especially in the Asian region and then the world.
The aftershocks of geo-economic restraints have posed grave impacts on Pakistan. It has jolted the bilateral ties with Ukraine and USA. According to the Research Society of International law, Pakistan has been importing agricultural products from Russia, particularly wheat, for many years, with the trade value reaching USD 800M. Furthermore, economic sanctions on Russia have badly affected Pakistan as the country depends upon gas and oil to produce electricity. As a result, the country has faced a setback in its natural reserves. It has been estimated that Pakistan will have serious issues of rising electricity and interest rates in the coming years. Additionally, PAK-US ties get tense due to Pakistan’s neutral stance as the country was once part of US alignment.
The Prospective Foreign Policy Options For Pakistan In The Wake Of the Russian-Ukraine Invasion
Pakistan should adopt prospective foreign policy options in the wake of ongoing conflict to balance the international environment. Pakistan has recently shifted its foreign policy from geo-politics to geo-economic, giving more importance to the regional players by keeping in view the basic principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy, i.e. peaceful co-existence. Following are the foreign policy choices for Pakistan:
Use of good offices:
Pakistan may offer its good offices by inviting the belligerent parties to resolve their conflict peacefully to restore regional peace. It will help the conflicting states to solve the issue without the interference of a third party. This would allow the countries in the Asian region to uplift their economic conditions and strengthen their ties with Russia.
Pakistan would play its role as a mediator in the Russia-Ukraine conflict in reaching an agreement or consensus between the parties. It will prevail the soft image of Pakistan in the international community. Pakistan has been quite prosperous in mediating Doha Accord between the USA and the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The success stories may be considered as precedent in resolving the conflict.
Diplomatic handling of regional connectivity
Pakistan is the jugular vein of the South-Asian region due to its geo-strategic location, so it has to play an effective role as a regional connector in economic terms and strategic terms. Pakistan has an opportunity to give the trade route to Russia via Afghanistan to warm waters. An oil and gas importer, Russia needs a new trading market after sanctions are imposed on them. Pakistan can get new gas and oil pipeline projects, which will help the country cater to oil and gas shortages. It is said:
“In the middle of the difficulty lies opportunity.”(Albert Einstein)
Role of the third party
Pakistan may urge regional powers like China, India, and the world leader USA to come closer to resolving the conflict and balance the power by inaugurating economic ties. The power tussle between Russia and the USA needs to be neutralized as the world faces two full-fledged world wars and proxy wars, bringing the world to the edge of political and economic destruction. Additionally, regional cooperation organizations like SCO and SAARC would be functional in resolving the conflict. Pakistan has recently set the example by bringing all the OIC member states closer to resolving the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Pakistan can crack the skirmish in this manner as well.
The three-point formula, “Ceasefire, negotiation, and implementation”, must be considered a diplomatic proposition in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. It is a need of time to urge Russia and Ukraine to opt for the Ceasefire by giving and take relationship. As it has been said by Munir Akram (UN’s permanent representative):
“If we take a one-sided position, then we have no room for diplomacy.”
Implementing such an agreement requires time as ongoing conflict tends to accelerate the third world war, which will be the nuclear-destructed war. Therefore, stepping towards pragmatic policy options by overshadowing and over-powering all other interests and prioritizing the foreign policy is the only solution for the country’s progression. As the words of Fareed Zakaria have proved it:
“Foreign policy is a matter of costs and benefits, not theology.”
Critically, Pakistan- having a long history of politico-economic instability- always designed its foreign policy framework based on ideology and historical events instead of national interests. Whereas, Pakistan has taken a U-Turn while formulating the policy determinants and adopted the strategy of independent foreign policy, seeking neutrality in the war situation instead of an alignment strategy. Undoubtedly, the new dimensions of the foreign policy designs require prospective policy options. So, Pakistan has to think out of the box regarding solutions in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict; otherwise, it has to bear the wary consequences. On the other hand, it would help in the containment of hegemonic designs of the USA in Asia. The world order has been changing from bi-polar to multilateralism.
To conclude, the changing dimensions of the world order have commended Pakistan to adopt an independent foreign policy and tilt its interests toward regional development policies instead of alignment with the western bloc. The world is now turning to multilateralism, which would become a blessing for Pakistan if dealt with sagaciously. The role of the US and its undue support to India become neutralized with the help of regional players, especially Pakistan, in maintaining peace in the South-Asian region. It further encourages the Pakistan-Russia bilateral ties. To end up, it is still unknown whether Pandora’s box of neutrality will prove to be fruitful in the coming years or not. Still, it will give hope for human development in the region jointly with economic freedom. As it has also been proved in the words of John F. Kennedy,
“Domestic policy can defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.”
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