Pakistan is the heart of this region since its independence. Pakistans present security environment through has its origins in the circumstances of its birth. The violence accompanying Partition of India into two independent states sowed germs of hatred which continue to afflict relations between India and Pakistan. There is, then, the unresolved issue of Jammu and Kashmir that is a cause of continuing tensions that keep polluting the unstable and tense security environment in the region. Pakistans foreign policy on the matter can be classified in five broad phases. The first period covers the time from the UN-enforced ceasefire of 1948 to the 1965 war over Kashmir. During this period, Pakistan joined the Baghdad Pact and, then, its successors CENTO and SEATO, the primary motivation on each occasion being the need to redress our defense vulnerability and achieve a reasonable military equilibrium with India. The second period was from 1965 to the l971crisis in East Pakistan. The 1965 war led to a drastic reduction in economic and military assistance to Pakistan. The increase in defense expenditure with decline in foreign assistance compounded economic difficulties and political problems in East Pakistan. The third important phase of our foreign policy was from 1971 to 1989. Pakistan remained engaged in rebuilding its defence to face challenge of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan which began well over a decade in advance. Beginning from 1971, this phase lasted up to 1989 when Soviets withdrew. The fourth period from 1990 to the nuclear tests of May 1998 was marked by two important events that took place in 1990. The US clamped economic and military sanctions on Pakistan and the gap between India and Pakistan widened. These developments, together with the continuing conflict in Afghanistan and its importance for the future of our trade and economy has imparted unprecedented importance to our foreign policy. -IFRA SHAUKAT, Rawalpindi, June 11.