The international and Indian media have repeatedly said that the foreign policy of Pakistan will always be manoeuvred by the country’s army. It is true that the military establishment in the country has an important role to play. However, there is a need for civilians to guide the country’s foreign policy.

Whenever a new prime minister takes charge, he always thinks of how much support he will receive and how he will achieve his national objectives. Imran Khan is about to take charge, but given the issues that Pakistan faces I believe that the country’s foreign policy will not change. Imran Khan is not an extremist but a nationalist. However, his image has been twisted by the political parties in Pakistan, and in India, too. There is a good chance that Imran Khan’s government will bring economic stability to Pakistan, as the youth has supported him and given him his mandate.

Khan has repeatedly said that Pakistan has been used as a weapon by the west, especially during the War on Terror. However, now that he is coming into power we have to see how he deals with the subject, and how he moves forward with the US. Pakistan has been placed on the FATF grey list, and to get out of it the country has to play nice with the US. Khan has not addressed what he plans to do about the militia groups that the US government is keen to get rid of.

Foreign policy is important, and the country needs to realise this. If Khan wants to improve the economic stability of the country, even for that he needs to improve the foreign policy. In Pakistan, the foreign policy has too many stakeholders, i.e. the civil, military and political parties. The fundamental issue when making a foreign policy is that the elected government has to cooperate and make relations with various nations.

Media outlets are now reporting that Khan will change his previous political stances after he takes oath. Pakistan’s narrative has to change. Pakistan is a security-centric state and such states have a defence complex. It is this defence complex that has been building all the policies for the country after the 9/11 attack. Khan’s statement in favour of Afghanistan can break India’s strategy in the region. There is a symbolic classification. If Khan continues his relationship with China this will be another signal for the US. In the meantime, Washington and New Delhi will continue to stand on one side.

President Mamnoon Hussain, while speaking in a session of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit at Qingdao, remarked that he hopes the general elections 2018 to bring further economic stability in Pakistan. He also said that Pakistan has witnessed valuable improvements in services and the agricultural sector, adding that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has further strengthened Pakistan’s economy. Speaking about relations with Afghanistan, he remarked: “peace and stability in Afghanistan is our common objective and Pakistan is playing its due role in this regard.” Pakistan and Afghanistan are working on a comprehensive strategy on a bilateral basis to establish peace in Afghanistan, he said, adding that ceasefire in Afghanistan is a positive sign for regional peace.

Yesterday, Voice of America (VOA), a US based international radio broadcasting service, reported that some media houses had used a word ‘unpredictable’ for Imran khan.  Now it is Imran’s turn to show us what he has planned for Pakistan.

The only question is, how Khan will balance Washington, Delhi and Beijing without going against the establishment’s vision.