The US Senate remains committed to blocking the sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan, and is now looking to block the funds for the transfer at the very least, if it cannot convince the Obama administration to stop the sale in its entirety. The total bill without the subsidies, amounts to $700 million, out of which Pakistan was only paying $270 million ($430 million was waived off). Without the subsidies, these F-16s will cost the country an arm and a leg, and yet based on past experiences, the state will not back out of the deal, to further its armament ambitions and countering India’s rapid militarisation.

The issue is not just the US Senate. What is upsetting is the general reaction to Pakistan in the international scenario. Friends are few and far between for this country in the foreign sphere. Apart from China, Pakistan does not seem to have any real allies at this point. And even though the government would have the public believe that Pakistan’s friendship with China is unconditional, let us not pretend that China’s overtures are anything but a means of using Pakistan as a buffer against India. The Arab nations are not as warm as they used to be, now that Pakistan has refused to comply with every demand made by the Saudi government. Efforts were made in North Thunder, the joint military exercise, to make amends, but it doesn’t seem to have worked. Then again, not much is expected from a country that does not even have a full-time Foreign Minister- we have failed in our diplomacy.

Pakistan must get its foreign policy back on track or else the country will soon be at risk of not having a basket to put any of our eggs in. The country is being snubbed all around. Expectations were never high with India to begin with, but its closer ties with both Saudi Arabia and Iran are worrying foreign policy experts of a growing exclusionary policy being employed in the region. India stands to offer more to our allies than we ever did, with trade being the foremost incentive. The contradiction between the ISPRs statement and President Rouhani on discussion over the issue of RAW interference was evidence of countries keeping their options open. With Putin rejecting the offer of a visit to Pakistan, what is obvious is that both the Eastern and Western blocs are currently not interested in what Pakistan has to offer. We must change this perception soon, allowing for investment opportunities in the trading sector, so that Pakistan can move beyond maintaining defence partnerships. Foreign policy is more than matters of the military, and it is high time the civilian government starts making better decisions.