Why Did Pakistan Join Western Defense Pacts? What Cost It Had To Pay For It. Explain

Why did pakistan join westran deffence pacts

CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers | Why did Pakistan join Western defense pacts? What cost does it have to pay for it? Explain

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 joined the Western Defense Pacts and what negative impacts Pakistan then had to face because of joining those pacts. So, first, you need to start explaining “Western Defense Pacts” in your own words. When done, the next step is to write on what made Pakistan join the Pacts; giving 3 to 4 logical reasons is more than enough. Then it would be best to mention the cost Pakistan had to pay for agreeing to the Pacts. 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. However, it is not essential to give suggestions, so you can do this part if you have time. Lastly, end your answer with a powerful critical analysis and a conclusion paragraph. 


1. Introduction

  • Multiple challenges made Pakistan part of the Western Defense Pacts
  • Joining the Western side during the Cold War
  • Unfortunately, faced more costs than benefits, including social, economic, political and governance costs

2. What are the Western defence pacts? 

3. The need to join Western defence pacts by Pakistan

  • Counter existential threats from India
  • Improve the defence capabilities
  • Strengthen the economy
  • Develop friendly relations with the western countries

4. The cost Pakistan had to pay

Social cost

  • Worsened law and order situation 
  • Introduction of Kalashnikov culture
  • Increase in terrorism and extremism

Economic cost

  • Billions of dollars to counter the menace of terrorism
  • The large sum of money to rehabilitate the displaced people

Political cost

  • Tensions in bilateral relations with Afghanistan and the Soviet Union

Governance cost

  • Lack of development of health or education sectors
  • The concept of a security state paves the way for Martial laws at the expense of democratic cultural development

5. What strategies must Pakistan adopt to decrease its reliance on the Western defence pacts?

  • Focusing on indigenous resources rather than the International Financial Institutions
  • Expanding trade relations with other countries
  • Investing in the social sector reforms
  • Opting for neutrality rather than being a part of coalitions or blocks
  • Strengthening political culture through strong state institutions

6. Critical analysis

7. Conclusion

Answer to the Question


Since its inception, Pakistan has faced multiple challenges making it a part of the blocks or coalitions in the international arena to fulfil its social, political and economic needs. Appearing on the world map in 1947 during the Cold War, the nation’s founders decided to side with the United States of America, ultimately becoming part of the Western defence pacts. Nevertheless, the pacts negatively affected Pakistan, increasing the costs in all the spheres of nationhood. According to the former President of Pakistan, “You must keep in mind that Pakistan has suffered the aftermaths of the Cold War and that Cold War had left deep imprints on our society. We were the worst sufferers from the ills of the Afghan war.” The original cost Pakistan had to pay was the country’s worsened law and order situation, witnessing an increase in extremism and terrorism. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, creating the need for rehabilitation. Furthermore, Pakistan became a security state where a strong defence capability was more important than the education and health sectors, thus, compromising a large share of the budget on defence needs. Thus, joining the Western Defense Pacts did not favour Pakistan, and it suffered multiple societal, governance and economic costs. Now, it is time for Pakistan to mend its ways and remain neutral during the regional or global conflicts, focus more on economic rather than strategic bilateral and multilateral relations, and strengthen its political institutions. These steps, if taken seriously, can help Pakistan come out of its miserable record and move towards a better and more secure future. 

Western defence pacts- An Overview

Knowing what Western Defence Pacts mean is pertinent to gauge its impacts on Pakistan and its people. These pacts were made by the Western countries, especially the United States of America, during the cold war against the Soviet Union to counter the spread of communism. The ideological war between the two superpowers swept across the globe, making the other countries choose sides. There were two main blocks, namely eastern and western. The USA led the Western bloc, whereas the Soviet Union headed the Eastern bloc. The Western defence pacts include South East Asian Treaty Organisation and Central Asian Treaty Organisation. In contrast, the Eastern defense pacts include the WARSAW pact that the USSR and its satellite states spearheaded. Being a part of the Western block, Pakistan had to join the Western Defense Pacts, initiating an era of history dominated by internal and external chaos.  

The need to join Western defence pacts by Pakistan

Pakistan was founded on 14th August 1947 after the partition of British India. The division of India was not welcomed by the Hindus of India, who then predicted the demise of Pakistan like the House of Cards. It can be said that since the inception of Pakistan, India continued its propaganda to break Pakistan or reintegrate it back into India. The defence of the borders of Pakistan was fragile, and the founding fathers understood the need to have a strong defence system for countering the Indian threat. Various reasons made Pakistan join the Western defense pacts.

To counter existential threats from India.

Since 1947, Pakistan and India have fought three wars against each other. In 1948, the first war resulted in the ceasefire established by the United Nations; however, it became clear in the minds of Pakistanis that India represented an existential threat to the country. However, Pakistan was weak compared to India in every respect, whether military, political, economic, or social. Thus, joining the Western Defense Pacts meant that Pakistan would also be assisted in times of Indian aggression. Therefore, Pakistan joined the Western block against the USSR. 

To improve the defense capabilities.

An efficient and strong defence system was needed to defend the boundaries, including a modernized army, navy and air force. Joining the Western defence pacts meant Pakistan would have easy access to the efficient arms and ammunitions of the West. Similarly, the West wanted its allies to be strong militarily, so Pakistan joined the western block and received huge funds to strengthen its defence system.

Pakistan is still in its infancy, and so are its navy and other branches of the Armed forces. But this infant means growing up and will grow up much sooner than many people think.

Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

To strengthen the economy.

At the time of independence, Pakistan had a fragile economy with very little bank balance and a weak industrial base. Joining the Western defense pacts meant the provision of aid in terms of economic development as well. It is a fact that a strong state economically has better chances of survival than a state with a weak economy. Therefore, Pakistan joined the Western defence pacts to improve its economic growth.

To develop friendly relations with the western countries

One of the core objectives of Pakistan’s foreign policy is to develop friendly relations with western countries. After the world war, Western countries stood victorious, so Pakistan was in favour of strengthening its International position by allying with the western world. Hence, Pakistan joined the west pacts’ defence to improve its global standing.

The cost Pakistan had to pay

The journey of becoming an ally of the Western World was not without trouble. In many ways, Pakistan had to bear the brunt of social, political and economic problems. The following paragraphs explain Pakistan’s cost of joining the Western Defense Pacts.

Social cost

Starting with social cost, becoming part of the block impacted the law and order situation of the country. In the war, the rule applies that “friend of my enemy is also my enemy”; thus, Pakistan made various enemies by joining the war on one front. When Pakistan joined America to train the Mujahedeen to fight the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, it succeeded in its goal. However, in the long run, those trained mujahedeen confronted the state of Pakistan, nourishing extremism and terrorism. The Kalashnikov culture became common, making some people violent to go to any extent to fulfil their objectives. This disturbed the law and order situation in the country. Therefore, joining the Western defence facts impacted Pakistan socially.

Economic cost

Joining the Western defense pact also negatively affected Pakistan at an economic level. After dealing with the enemies of the West, Pakistan had to focus on its internal situation, which was deteriorated by its participation in the war. To deal with the menace of terrorism and extremism, millions of dollars were spent on expanding the country’s defence capacity. Moreover, after carrying out the operation against the extremists and terrorists, thousands of people were displaced, creating the need for rehabilitation. Thus, coma Pakistan had to pay a huge economic cost for joining the Western defense pacts.

Political cost

Apart from the social and economic costs, Pakistan also faced some political costs. For instance, countries like the Soviet Union (presently Russia) became the country’s enemy. It was evident that the Soviet Union supported the Indian stance regarding the Kashmir issue in the United Nations Security Council. Moreover, the indulgence in Afghanistan against the Soviet Troops created ill feelings among the Afghanis regarding Pakistan. Therefore, it can be said that joining the Western pacts impacted the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the one hand and Pakistan and the Soviet Union on the other.

Governance cost

Lastly, Pakistan also had to face some governance costs because of joining the Western defence pacts. The main focus of the Pakistani government was to strengthen the defence capability of the country by increasing the development and training budget of the Army. Even though the goal of having an efficient military was achieved, it was at the expense of other sectors, such as Health and education. As a result, despite having a strong and organized army, Pakistan suffers from fragile nationhood. Moreover, strengthening the military paved the way for future Military coups against the democratically elected governments. For instance, after just two years of promulgating the 1956 constitution, Pakistan’s military took over the reins of government and made itself the legal custodian of the country. Hence, it can be said that joining the Western defence pacts weakened the country’s chances of developing authentic democratic culture.

Inflexibility in relations with India, and the belief that India represented an existential threat to Pakistan, led to maintaining a large military, which in turn helped the military assert dominance in the country’s life. 

Hussain Haqqani

Strategies Pakistan needs to adopt to decrease its reliance on the West

Keeping in mind the above-mentioned costs Pakistan had to face, it is pertinent to suggest some of the strategies required to decrease the reliance of Pakistan on the West:

  1. Instead of relying on International Financial Institutions and western countries, Pakistan needs to rely on its indigenous resources and improve its economic standing. Once the indigenous resources are exploited to their fullest, Pakistan will be able to have good trade relations with other countries, which will result in the expansion of trade and revenue.
  2. The government needs to realize the worth of the social sectors, including health and education. And for that, it has to increase the budget of these sectors to improve the health and literacy rate of the citizens of Pakistan. This will help counter the threat of terrorism and extremism from the country.
  3. Pakistan has to adopt a neutral foreign policy and needs not to choose any side during any conflict.
  4. Pakistan needs to work on its political institutions, like the legislature, judiciary and executive.

Solid political institutions help develop an efficient political culture where it is difficult for non-democratic entities to take over the whole country. Thus, it is the need of the hour to improve the state institutions to discourage martial laws. These measures, if taken sagaciously, can refrain Pakistan from joining the Western Defense Pacts that could cost Pakistan a fortune.

“Democracy is necessary to peace and undermining the forces of terrorism.”

Benazir Bhutto

Critical analysis

In a critical diagnosis, joining Western defence pacts right after getting independence was the need of the hour as the enemies of the state were consciously waiting at the borders for Pakistan to make a bad move. The defence and those pacts helped Pakistan improve its economy in that critical situation. However, the cost of the Western defense pact was also enormous, impacting Pakistan in all spheres of life. Therefore, it needs to be understood by Pakistan that it is better to remain neutral than to side with one country and become the enemy of the other. Nonetheless, Pakistan became part of the Western block mainly during the military rule where the people did not make the decisions but by the military leader according to his personal views. 


In conclusion, it is known that developing countries rely on the major powers for social, political and economic assistance. And at the same time, developed countries use the developing states to extend their vested interests. In realistic terms, no country helps the other without its own vested national interest, and the country on the receiving end always loses its part of sovereignty. Similarly, Pakistan joined the western defense pacts to increase its security and tackle the economic crisis; however, it lost much of its social and political stability. Moreover, there was an increase in extremism, worsening the already fragile law and order situation and requiring the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons. Therefore, it can be concluded that it will not be in Pakistan’s best interests to be part of the Western defense pacts again. In future, it needs to remain neutral and unbiased, having good relations with every country. Moreover, the relations need to be based on economic concerns rather than strategic or military ones. 


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