The whole world had its eyes on elections 2018. Imran Khan after winning is all set to hold the office as Prime Minister of Pakistan. His determination to bring change in Pakistan for fighting against issues like corruption, poverty, energy crisis, women rights etc. have grabbed attention from around the world. Khan’s capability to bring real change will be tested when between the foes or friends of Pakistan. Let’s dive into the what are the expectation of the world from newly appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan:
1) China; a Friend With Benefits
Pakistan and China have been sharing a friendly relation since decades. China’s billion-dollar investment in Pakistan through CPEC is concerning many Chinese businessmen about the stability of the country. China lending 2 billion dollars to Pakistan, despite warnings by the US, demonstrates intentions of the country to endure close relations. Khan appears to reinforce the project while asserting that CPEC will gain wide support from all the sectors of Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that Khan and his populist Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have been criticizing CPEC when in opposition during Nawaz government due to corrupt and squandering of funds. In fact, the PTI viewed CPEC equivalent to British East India company which tossed Muslim rule from sub-continent. So it will be interesting to see how ‘Pak-China dosti’ will play out in Naya Pakistan.
2) Contending India
As we have all seen India popping off on victory of Imran Khan in elections 2018. India has alleged Khan to have been supported by the ISI and armed forces. Certainly, Pakistan army has always made India’s blood run cold. Where both the countries have fought two wars over Kashmir, Khan is seen as reconciling Kashmir issue through peaceful dialogue. Looks like Khan’s vision that might alter the status quo appears to be a major threat to India!
3) Meddling America
The US and Pakistan have been allies in fighting terrorism since 2001, which have posed a volatile relationship among both the countries. The US has always intervened in the affairs of Pakistan whilst paving its way over negating extremism from Pakistan. Earlier, Khan had been a strong critic of US regarding US-led wars against Taliban in Afghanistan and vocally opposed drone strikes on the soil of Pakistan. However, the drone strikes in Pakistan have reduced intensely since climaxing in 2010.
Now that Khan is soon to become Pakistan’s leader, and intends to pacify relations with the US, Washington’s eyes would be on Khan’s gestures if he will antagonize or continue with the conciliatory tone as indicated in election victory speech.
4) Fairy-godparent Turkey
Turkey and Pakistan have always shared cordial relations since independence. It will not be wrong to say that Turkey plays a role of fairy-godparent for the Muslim world as demonstrated by Erdogan’s appeal to the Islamic States to combine against adversaries of Islam each other. If Pakistan joins endeavors of Turkey with other Muslim countries, it may just help Palestinians resist against Israel’s atrocities.
5) Furious Afghanistan
Despite, sharing a common religion Pakistan-Afghanistan relations have been on the edge since 1947. Pakistan allying with the US in the war against terror and decision of repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan has shaken up the relations between both countries. Peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan as well. Khan accepting invitation from Ghani can be the sign of a new beginning of the bilateral relationship between both states.
6) Wretched Iran
Khan has been explicitly supportive of the nuclear deal between Iran and five members of Security Council and condemned Trump’s travel ban on Iranians preventing them to enter the US. Iran’s desire to for multi-dimensional ties with the newly formed government of Pakistan implies Iran’s raising expectations to bring back its crippling economy by developing relations with Pakistan. Let’s hope, Pakistan getting closer to Iran does not rages Saudi Arabia and the US who have paired against Iran for supporting terrorists.
7) Agitating Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have shared special relations, due to the endearment of Pakistani Muslims to Makkah and Medina. Pakistan has assisted Saudi Arabia militarily and connected with the country through cultural and commercial bonds. Regarding the ongoing tensions between the states of Middle East, Pakistan has already played a positive role through Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, commanded by former Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan. Nonetheless, the US and Saudi Arabia’s recent economic ties have resulted in increased sanctions by the US on Iran. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s ignorance of the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel shows us who’s the boss?
While Khan is a fervent opponent of US, KSA policies and Israel’s terrorism. Pertaining to this situation Pakistan stands on a tricky position of who to lend support?
Let’s hope that whatever the foreign policies are adopted by the newly formed government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, they do not lead us into a catch-22 situation, where we have been in the last few decades.