These are very challenging times for the Pakistani nation, blessed with national resilience, sense of honour and the civilisational heritage, drawn from the four oldest civilisations of the world - Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia and East Asia (China), with whom it shares common borders. Itself being the 'Cradle of Indus Civilisation, no other country in the world can boast of such assets, which determine the 'geo-historical blend of the Pakistani nation and can rightly be called the 'Land of the Rainbow Civilisation. Yet, these civilisational assets have so carelessly been sacrificed for the geopolitical expediencies of the past. Instead of getting closer to our immediate neighbours, we made friends and allies with the United States of America, a distant land, with whom we share no civilisational values. And for this faulty decision, Pakistan has suffered immensely, during the last five decades. There is a strong realisation now to 'correct the course and create a more pragmatic geopolitical environment of national security, most suited, to strengthen our civilisational linkages, with our immediate neighbours. After six decades of conflict and distrust, India and Pakistan now have realised the need to resolve the outstanding issues through dialogue and discussion. The forces of globalisation also demand that the existing developed trade and commerce infrastructure between the two countries, which have remained closed for over six decades, must be opened for the free flow of trade and commerce in the Asian region. Since 1979, Iran has been subjected to sanctions and embargos by the United States and has been demonised for the alleged weaponisation of its nuclear programme, creating a state of panic among its immediate neighbours, who during the last 10 years have purchased military hardware from America, worth over $150 billion, to deal with it. However, Iran poses no threat to them. It has joined hands with Pakistan to evolve a common strategy for peace and stability in Afghanistan, after the American exit. That is a very healthy development towards strengthening the historic linkage between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the epicentre of Global Islamic Resistance, against the forces of aggression, for the last 30 years. It has defeated the Soviets, the Americans and the Europeans, and has suffered immensely, yet in their resolve to defeat the mightiest of the mighty, they remain so steadfast, self-composed and confident of their victory, that has unnerved the occupation forces. Conspiracies are, therefore, being hatched to divide the country and create condition of a civil war as in 1989, but the Afghans are much wiser now and know how to deal with such machinations. Also, China now stands solidly behind Afghanistan to protect the civilisational heritage so ruthlessly trampled by foreign invaders. With the rise of China, the 'global centre of gravity has shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Thus, it is at the moment a factor of stability for the Pacific and Asian regions. Its policy of peace, cooperation and engagement, projects the Chinese 'soft power and neutralises, without fighting, the American military 'hard power vying for global domination. It, indeed, emerges as the most successful policy in todays multipolar world. China is a reliable friend of Pakistan. It has stood by the Islamic Republic and is a source of strength, radiating the civilisational virtues of peace and harmony. Pakistan opted to be an ally of the United States of America, who failed to correctly gauge the 'inner strength of the Pakistani nation and tried to play the 'role of a master, changing regimes at will and installing military dictators who played their game so shamelessly. The breakup of Pakistan in 1971; the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; and the immoral decision of the Pakistani government to join the so-called American war on terror in 2001, turning Pakistan into a 'rentier state, happened during the regimes of military dictators. As if this was not enough, Washington decided to establish Indian hegemony over the region from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka to beat down Pakistan to submission through deceit and conspiracies, and pressures and proxy war. However, Pakistan took a stand and rejected the Indian hegemony and submission to the American demands, which happens to be the turning point now where the new contours of the Pak-US relations will be determined, under the geo-historical pull of the old civilisations, determined to banish foreign aggression and establish peace in Afghanistan and the region. Pakistans civilisational heritage and its geo-historical linkages determine the strength of its inner self. It is a vibrant and diverse society with a great deal of resilience, sense of honour and the robustness of mind and soul, which provide the guarantee for national security in all its dimensions. The instruments of power, which help the state to fortify national security, are conscious of their responsibilities. The judiciary is struggling hard to establish the rule of law in the country. The media is playing its due role to create a 'state of awareness about the flaws in the system of governance among the people. The armed forces have accepted the supremacy of the civilian rule and support the Supreme Court of Pakistan for the implementation of their judgments and together with the people are trying to establish the supremacy of Parliament and the civilian rule. No one is talking about the derailment of the existing democratic order, but wants change while remaining within the constitutional limits. These are healthy signs for establishing a robust democratic order. Pakistanis have shown a great deal of patience and perseverance, bearing the appalling conditions of insecurity, lawlessness, inflation, energy crisis and rampant corruption, while the Afghan crisis has added terror, death and destruction in everyday life. Things have never been so bad in the past. Yet, there is hope that out of such depth of sorrow and sacrifice, the Pakistani nation will rise to claim its rightful place, as a vibrant, peaceful and progressive nation. The writer has served as Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan. Email: