Imran Khan frequently asserts the need to get out of the US war on terror. Such a measure would need serious preparations which I am sure his associates would be working on. Trapped in a complex situation, Pakistan cannot get out of this fatal embrace without the support of regional powers particularly its immediate neighbours. While India needs to be assured that the PTI, if voted to power, will work to strengthen trade relations with India and negotiate settlement of the outstanding disputes foreclosing chances of renewed armed conflict. There is a need to improve relations with Iran. Relations with Afghanistan need to be kept most formal to avoid giving any impression of being intrusive or patronising.

Amongst the regional powers, Russia is in a position to help us throw away the American blanket. As the interests of both countries coincide, we should join Russian efforts to promote regional peace conducive to promotion of trade and commerce between Russia, Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. The Chinese will support our efforts as US intervention in the region retarded their effort to get access to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan. The conditions are most favourable to correct course. The PTI must work to make good use of the opportunity which will not only save Pakistan from further damage but will be in the interest of the whole region.

Colonel (r) Nazir Ahmed,

Islamabad, July 23.