An Insider's View Of Pakistan's Foreign Policy

An Insider's View Of Pakistan's Foreign Policy
Pakistan's foreign policy has been a subject of much interest and scrutiny, both within Pakistan and globally. Pakistan's Foreign Policy,1947-2016: A Concise History written by Abdul Sattar is a comprehensive analysis from in 1947 until 2016. Sattar was a former foreign secretary of Pakistan, and his insights, expertise and concise writing make this an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the subject.

The book covers major events that have shaped Pakistan's foreign policy, including the wars with India, the US-Pakistan relationship and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Sattar manages to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time, making it an excellent read for those looking for a quick overview of Pakistan's foreign policy. However, this does not come at the cost of depth, as Sattar provides in-depth analysis of the key events and decisions that have shaped Pakistan's foreign policy.

The book is divided into twelve chapters, each focusing on a specific period of Pakistan's history. It starts with the pre-independence era and moves on to Pakistan's relations with India, Afghanistan, the United States, China and the Muslim world. The author also delves into the role of domestic factors such as the military, political parties, and the media in shaping Pakistan's foreign policy.

Sattar's writing is clear, concise and objective, with a focus on facts and analysis rather than opinions or biases. He explains complex concepts and events in an accessible manner, making it easy for readers to follow along and understand the nuances of Pakistan's foreign policy.

One of the most impressive aspects of the book is the author's ability to provide a balanced analysis of Pakistan's foreign policy. He acknowledges both the successes and failures of Pakistan's foreign policy, and critically evaluates the decisions made by the country's leaders. This balanced approach makes the book an excellent resource for academics, policymakers, and anyone interested in understanding Pakistan's role in the global arena.

Sattar contextualises Pakistan's foreign policy within the broader regional and global context. He discusses how Pakistan's foreign policy has been shaped by its relationship with India, the US, China, and other countries. He also highlights the role of international organisations such as the United Nations in shaping Pakistan's foreign policy.

The author provides valuable insights into the decision-making process of Pakistan's foreign policy establishment, which adds to the book's authenticity and credibility. Sattar's insider perspective allows readers to understand the complexities of decision-making in the Pakistani government and how foreign policy is formulated.

However, while the book may have accurate facts and figures, it falls short in several areas.

Firstly, it fails to keep up with current events, as demonstrated by the absence of any mention of recent Pakistan-Russia developments, including the lifting of an arms embargo and the joint military exercise Druzhba-2016. Additionally, the book is disappointingly limited in its scope, with a focus on the same countries that we have read about extensively before - the US, India, China and Afghanistan. Readers may find themselves yearning for more diverse perspectives, including other countries like Turkey, Indonesia, Bosnia and their relations with Pakistan.

Furthermore, at certain points, the book lacks thorough justification and reasoning, leaving readers with a bullet-point description of historic events rather than a nuanced analysis. While the book is informative, some of its minor drawbacks prevent it from achieving its full potential.

In conclusion, Pakistan's Foreign Policy,1947-2016: A Concise History is a well-researched and insightful book that offers a comprehensive analysis of Pakistan's foreign policy. The author's balanced approach and clear writing style make it an excellent resource for anyone seeking to understand Pakistan's position in the world. The book is a must-read for academics, policymakers and anyone interested in Pakistan's foreign policy. It provides valuable insights into the country’s decision-making process and the factors that have shaped its external posture over the years.