Patriotic Realism: An Alternative to Foreign Policy Failure?


The Foreign Office is out of ideas, and the state appears to be unwilling or unable to diverge from a failed foreign policy that has resulted in isolating the country first regionally and now globally. It’s time to look for new ideas somewhere else. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and considering where we find ourselves at this point, maybe it’s time we give a chance to some people who those who have failed us have been telling us are wrong.

A case in point is the former Ambassador Husain Haqqani. Now that we know that the ‘memogate’ fiasco was all an invented drama, we should be willing to at least listen to what he is saying. After all, the rest of the world seems to be listening to him, so shouldn’t we at least hear what he has to say?

I have to say I was surprised by this interview. After being told for so long that he is ‘anti-Pakistan’, I did not expect him to be so critical of India and especially Indian actions in occupied Kashmir. His view is patriotic, but it is also realistic. Is this the alternative we have been needing to the stubborn refusal to face reality that has brought us to this point?

Husain Haqqani is not the only ‘Patriotic Realist’. Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy has also been making similar points, providing an alternative to the status quo of ‘more of the same’ failed strategies. Like Haqqani, Professor Hoodbhoy has also be labeled as anti-Pakistan and his patriotism questioned. However if you actually listen to what he is saying you will quickly see that he has Pakistan’s interests at heart, and that his difference of opinion is only on what is the best way to protect and advance Pakistan’s interests.

We have been listening to the same voices for decades, and despite constant failure they have been unwilling to change or even listen to any new ideas. Instead, they have tried to accuse and discredit anyone who gave any alternatives to their disproven strategies. ‘Patriotic Delusions’ have only brought us disaster and isolation. Let’s at least give the ‘Patriotic Realists’ a chance to be heard.


Author: Mukhtar Ahmed