Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

Pakistan's foreign policy adjustment in the early years of the 21st century and its development trend


Publication year: 2018

Pages quantity: 268

Pakistan is a country with a particularly important geographical position that serves as a bridge connecting continents, economies and civilizations, located on the shipping route connecting the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean with Arabian Sea, simultaneously connecting Europe and the Middle East with South Asia and Southeast Asia. Therefore, Pakistan's geopolitical role becomes particularly important and its foreign policy is always of great concern to neighboring countries because it strongly affects the overall prosperity of the region.

Besides its important position on the geographic map, Pakitan has also been known as a country with tough foreign policy, especially in dialogue with other countries on nuclear, military and religious issues.According to the researchers, Pakistan's foreign political history has always been imprinted on the clashes with neighboring India on Kashmir. In addition, Pakistan has not really had a close and reliable bilateral cooperation relationship, if any, it was also in an unstable and unpredictable situation.

However, in recent years, Pakistan has had positive foreign policies, whether these changes have been influenced by the complicated developments of the political and economic situation in the country and around the world. And how does that adjustment affect the Muslim community in the world?

To learn more about Pakistan's foreign policy adjustments and its impact, in 2018, Social Science Publishing House published: “Pakistan's foreign policy adjustment in the early years of the 21st century and its development trend” by Prof.Dr. Nguyen Xuan Binh was the editor.

The main content of the book is to give a comprehensive and insightful look at Pakistan's foreign policy adjustment trend, assessing its positive and negative impacts on the overall development of the world and propose some recommendations for Vietnam to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan. Apart from the introduction and conclusion, the book's layout is divided into 3 chapters:

Chapter I. Factors affecting Pakistan's foreign policy adjustment from the beginning of the 21st century

Analyzing factors affecting Pakistan's foreign policy adjustment, the authors divided them into two groups of factors, the external and the internal factors.

The group of external factors includes: (i) radical Islam, terrorism and Nov the 9th event; (ii) The rise of China; (iii) Security instability in South Asia; (iv) globalization, economic crisis and energy crisis; (v) Indian factor.

Research has showed that it was the encounter of Islamic extremism and terrorism that had a serious impact on world peace and security and had a profound impact on foreign policy of Pakistan, creating a shift in the country's diplomatic strategy with specific manifestations.In addition, India has always been an important factor in the adjustment of Pakistan's foreign policy. Every strategic calculation of Pakistan must consider harmonizing the relationship of cooperation and conflict with Pakistan.

The group of internal factors includes: (i) the supreme role of Islam in Pakistan; (ii) the role of the military in the Pakistani government; (iii) instability in the border areas of Pakistan; (iv) pressure on Pakistan's nuclear program; (v) economic instability.

The study found that the instability of political, social and security conflicts in Pakistan, the raging of extremism and its corollary were the direct causes that the Government of Pakistan had to rethink its foreign policy for appropriate adjustments.Besides being a Muslim country but at the same time suffering so much damage caused by extremist Islamic groups, Pakistan had to redefine its pioneering role and leadership responsibility in the Muslim community to gradually eliminate the negative elements, promote the strong development of this community.

Chapter II. Pakistan's foreign policy adjustment from the beginning of the 21st century

The research focused on foreign policy analysis in terms of content published by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2003 including: (i) maintain regional security and combat terrorism; (ii) ensure nuclear security; (iii) assume a greater role in the Muslim community; (iv) maintain relationships with major countries and key areas; (v) actively participate in international and regional organizations; (vi) promote economic integration.

On that basis, the authors stated that Pakistan's foreign policy decisions have been deeply influenced by the country's military security developments, and at the same time, evaluated some achievements in policy adjustment foreign policy of Pakistan from the beginning of the 21st century to the present:

Firstly, the adjustment of foreign policy in the period of 2001-2005 contributed to changing the face of the nation, Pakistan seemed to fully meet the necessary conditions to become a new force on the world’s political chessboard;

Secondly, Pakistan has built an alliance with the United States;

Thirdly, Pakistan has been negotiating on a variety of issues with India and Afghanistan;

Fourthly, Pakistan's foreign policy has contributed to important investment projects, helping to remove economic difficulties, raising import-export value and boosting domestic production.In addition to the significant achievements, the study also pointed out some limitations in Pakistan's foreign policy that affect its image and position.

Chapter III Development trends

By identifying domestic and international contexts, the authors have argued that Pakistan's foreign policy needs a shift from competition, confrontation to dialogue and cooperation with countries in the region.

The focus of Pakistan's foreign policy is security diplomacy, which for fighting against domestic and foreign challenges to national interests.On that basis, the authors have predicted a number of trends in Pakistan's cooperation with basic partners: (i) Pakistan's foreign policy with major countries; (ii) Pakistan's foreign policy with its neighboring countries; (iii) Pakistan's policy towards a number of regions and international organizations.

From the analysis of Pakista's foreign policy from the beginning of the 21st century to the present, the research team has said that although there were not many similarities with Pakistan in terms of political institutions, economic or cultural development level, but through that some lessons could be learned from Pakistan's experience in foreign policy making, as well as the potential prospects of bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Pakistan in the coming time:

Firstly, Vietnam should focus on key sectors and staple commodities that Pakistani consumers are interested in such as tea, pepper, cereals, fibers, seafood, machinery, construction materials...;

Secondly, Vietnam needs to carefully examine the basic information about partner companies;

Thirdly, penetrating the retail market;

Fourthly, more attention should be paid to the development of exporting Vietnam's strong goods to Pakistan;

Fifthly, connect transportation, open direct flights to Islamabad in the near future;

Sixthly, more practical actionsare needed to take a pro-Pakistan stance on a number of appropriate issues to foster cooperation;

Seventhly, the Embassies of the two countries need to coordinate more in organizing activities to promote academic, expert and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

With an insightful and comprehensive view of Pakistan's foreign policy in the context of domestic and regional speculation and unpredictability in the early years of the 21st century with the logical analysis of the authors about trends developing foreign policy of Pakistan in the near future, hoping the book will partly satisfy the learning needs for readers, policy makers as well as researchers about Pakistan.

Respectfully to introduce!

Nguyen Minh Hong



Author :
  • PGS.TS. Ngô Xuân Bình