Failed Foreign Policy Responsible For Border Tensions

Iranian mortar shells fired into PakistanPakistan is currently experiencing cross-border firing as a result of failed foreign policy. This is well known. Here is a riddle for you, though: Which border am I talking about? The sad fact is that it could be the border with India, where cross-border firing has been flaring up again at the Line of Control. It could also be the border with Afghanistan, where cross-border firing left an innocent civilian dead earlier this week. It could also be the border with Iran, where artillery fire has once again ignited. Each of these situations will be dismissed as unique crises caused by issues specific to those borders, but what other country in the world is currently suffering cross-border firing from every side? The truth is, each of these crises is rooted in a failed foreign policy that has turned our country into a hub of international terrorism.

In Kashmir, our use of jihadi militants like Lashkar-e-Taiba is well known. Recently, Gen Musharraf admitted this strategy and called for an increase in militant attacks against Indian forces. Iran’s attack was a response to Pakistan-based jihadi militants carrying out cross-border attacks in that country, a dangerous reality that the Foreign Office continues to pretend ignorance of. Cross-border attacks from Afghanistan, however, are actually being carried out in large part by the very terrorists who we allowed to grow in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no sign that the leaders in Islamabad or the Rawalpindi have any intention of changing the failed foreign policy that has brought us to this point. What is not clear is whether or not this is because civilian and military leaders are ideologically centered in this failed policy or whether they fear that jihadi extremists have become stronger than the state. Probably, it is a mixture of both.

That Pakistan has become isolated was definitively answered when China canceled its Presidential visit to Islamabad but visited Delhi instead. With active firing on almost every border, however, Pakistan faces a fate much worse than isolation.

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