Yes, Pakistan is in a deep state of isolation, rather in the deepest state of international diplomatic and political isolation. Though its isolation got, slowly and steadily, initiated with the adoption of the ‘terror and talks won’t go together’ doctrine (as adopted and executed by India around the years 2010) yet Pakistan fell to the new depths with its own doings; and events far beyond its grip and control.
India as the lead country in the SAARC, soft pedalled its (SAARC’s) movement post 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai in 2008. Though India under the new leadership of Narendra Modi as the PM, in and immediately after 2014, expressed its intent and desire to renew its relationship with Pakistan including reviving SAARC, yet the state of Pakistan failed to reciprocate the gesture time and again. All initiatives taken by India were reciprocated with terrible terror attacks like in Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama besides the regular armed squarremashes on borders due to the cross border terrorism. India was forced by the events and circumstances to take a tough line in regard to Pakistan and it resulted in downgrading of diplomatic ties, normal trade relations, sports events, people to people contact followed by any sort of bonhomie at regional and international forums between the two neighbouring countries.
India as a major growing power in the new world order with a robust developing economy succeeded in its focus on improving relations with the influential nations of the world. Moreover, while as a leader, India gave a voice to the Global South nations in all its international endeavours through various forums, Pakistan kept on sulking in its own courtyard. In the G20 summit held in New Delhi and in all other such engagements, Pakistan was wilfully side-lined and excluded. Even the Islamic countries led by Saudi Arabia didn’t show any interest in taking along Pakistan in context of the new initiative ‘India-Middle East-Economic corridor’ that was adopted in the G20 Summit.
Hardly has any world leader of prominence made a state visit of Pakistan during the last five years, mostly due to its worsening economic crisis, ongoing terrorism and lowered diplomatic status in the geopolitical scenario. The recent headlines that 90% of the beggars in the world have their roots in Pakistan is one more tragic reality that Pakistan has to cope up with. As if this was not sufficient, then the declaration by Saudi Arabia that it is getting closer to Israel and may eventually be joined by seven more Arabian-Muslim countries in their endeavour to recognise Israel, eventually, has also given a big jolt to Pakistan.
This situation of Pakistan, that has left it completely isolated, needs to be analysed in a historical perspective. In fact, the basis for such a situation, from an analytical point of view, was founded with the establishment of Pakistan itself. Since the establishment of Pakistan was based upon the two-nation theory of “non-coexistence” with the non-Muslims (predominantly Hindus in India), it inspired and encouraged the leadership of Pakistan to have and develop its own world view as the national policy of the state. What we see and observe today regarding the isolation and exclusion of Pakistan is the penultimate result of the so-called world view adopted by the state of Pakistan.
The story began with the formulation of the state policy of the new nation-state, called Islamic Republic of Pakistan, carved out of India in 1947, consequent upon the tragic partition of Bharat as per the Indian Independence Act of 1947. The state apparatus in Pakistan, in terms of its so-called ideological moorings, chose to distance Pakistan from the common civilizational and historical background of India, of which Pakistan was an important part up to 1947. This sort of exclusiveness from the historical, cultural and civilizational ethos led Pakistan to a belief that the religion, in this case Islam, would be the basis of the new nationality and also of their world view. Hence, they proceeded with the same thesis and implemented it on all important levels like, politics, education, diplomacy, international affairs, relations with the neighbouring countries and the so-called Islamic world and also the domestic policy.
This policy of the state of Pakistan has/had four important pillars which its government and the society are/were asked to follow meticulously in all circumstances, whatsoever. The first pillar was perceived as hate for India in particular and for Hindus in general. Accordingly, a set of postulates emerged in the public life of Pakistan which recognised India and Hindus as ‘Dushman-Mulk’ and ‘Dushman’ (enemy country and enemies). All steps were taken to advance this philosophy at the cost of the exchequer’s money and every sphere of life in the country was forced to be guided by this thesis. Special emphasis was given to the field of education to pass on the desired message to the young minds throughout the length and breadth of the country and it continues to be so even till date.
The second pillar of the state policy was/is the annexation of Kashmir. This was also based upon the theory of Hindu-Muslim non-coexistence. Jammu and Kashmir being a Muslim majority state was, in the eyes of Pakistan, perceived as a legitimate part of Pakistan -the new homeland of Indian Muslims. Three wars were inflicted upon India by Pakistan with the only intent to annex Kashmir. When it failed in the conventional wars a number of times, Pakistan moved to adopt cross border terrorism as the state policy to pursue its cause. It allowed itself, eventually, to become an epicentre of global terrorism and was recognised as such by many influential powers of the world. Recently, in their statements, ACM (retd) Asghar Khan and an accredited physicist of Pakistan, Parveiz Hoodbuoy publicly acknowledged that Pakistan initiated all wars with India. Parveiz Musharaf, past President, is on record to accept that Pakistan introduced armed ‘Jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir.
The third pillar was/is the Palestine issue; and it was aimed at to generate Pakistan’s close affinity with the Arabian world, recognition of Palestine as a formal state and non-recognition of Israel as a nation-state. Pakistan in its pursuit, went so far that it inscribed Israel in its passports as an invalid country that can’t be visited on the basis of the Pakistan passport. People in Pakistan were led to believe that Israel was their foremost enemy, besides India, that can’t be made a friend in any circumstances. India, Israel and US (since it was a close ally of Israel) were considered as people undeserving of friendly relations with Pakistan, and a vast majority in Pakistan continued to believe in the same theory of artificial hatred and mind-set.
Fourth pillar of the state policy was based upon the belief that Pakistan was the frontal nation among the Islamic nations, called Umma, and it had a rightful designation to lead the Islamic world to achieve its cherished goals. Pakistan took serious steps in this connection and tried to guide and lead OIC, even at the risk of irking the Arab countries, place its security forces at the beck and call of Umma, construct diplomatic offensives in the name of Islam, go for the atomic bomb which it also publicly called the Islamic bomb, fast-tracking military, mujahidin and political intervention in Afghanistan so on and so forth.
Pakistan never tried to revisit its such coveted state policy while the world moved on. It loved to live in the past and in a denial mode. Division of Pakistan in its east wing in the shape of Bangladesh in 1971, barely 25 years after its creation, was a glaring failure of the belief that Islam could be the uniting factor, politically. Every Muslim nation was guided by its own national ethos, civilization, values and interests and went ahead while Pakistan got struck in the cobwebs of fundamentalism created by it.
As long as Pakistan continues to be guided and led by the same set of state policy as was pursued by it since its creation, refusing to acknowledge its failures and take the corrective measures keeping in view the emerging geopolitical scenario, Pakistan can’t come out of the depressing isolation at a global stage. Moreover, its isolation, in particular among the Islamic nations, coupled with the economic disorder & disaster at home will have a telling effect on its younger generations. It challenges Pakistan’s survival as a nation-state leading its people to further psychological surrender and eventual recognition as a failed state.