In sixty five years of our existence we have not developed an independent foreign policy. We have not delineated or clearly stated our policy objectives. The military regimes set the tone of our foreign policy; they followed an appeasement policy to our great determent. They also favored a pro western stance. We entered into defence pacts like SEATO and CENTO. These alliances effected our relations with the international players while India on the other hand played safe and followed a non-aligned independent foreign policy.

The tilt towards western powers played into the hands of our enemy. While India was free to negotiate with the western and communist blocs to its advantage. The policy that was initiated and followed by General Ayub Khan has remained intact.  The military and civil governments have followed the same policy, with only one exception of Zulifikar Ali Bhutto's government. The yoke of dependence was thrown away and independent policy was formulated and vigorously pursued.

The Islamic Summit was held in Pakistan to form a block of Muslim states to express our unity and strength. We became the leader of the third World and effectively gained respect in the comity of the nations.

But this was all reversed by Zia's regime. He once again threw us back into American lap by supporting the Afghan resistance against Russian invasion, the whole dynamics of the policy were changed and later we paid a heavy price.

CIA’ covert operations in Afghanistan were successful and Russia had to pull out its forces with heavy losses. The dubious role played by our dictatorial regime cost us peace and tranquility. The terrorists came on the scene. We faced moral as well as economic bankruptcy since then. We have followed a haphazard foreign policy. Our independence has been compromised and national interest ignored completely. Why are we still pursuing Musharraf’ policies. We need to take a stance and unite all Muslim countries against the western influence or all is lost.

JAVAID BASHIR,

Lahore, October 9.