The recent spat between the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz and ex-Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani exposes the less than stellar state of affairs of Pakistani diplomacy in the last decade.

Mr. Aziz blamed the former ambassador of lobbying against Pakistan in the United States. Mr Haqqani lashed back and accused the current Pakistani policy makers of a massive failure on their own part and using him as a scapegoat.

Sartaj Aziz rubbished the claims of increased isolation from the rest of the world due to poorly-managed foreign policy. The weak argument he put forth was that the foreign office was doing good work because it spent Rs15 billion, where India spent Rs115 billion, i.e. low expenditure equals good diplomacy. During the tenure of the current government, Pakistan has made no new friends and has lost some of its old ones. In contrast, one only has to look at the global perception of India in the past year to see that the funds spent on diplomatic relations was money well spent. The Indo-US relations, the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s connection to China and China’s hostile takeover of the South China are only a few of the reasons why the US no longer looks at Pakistan as its closest ally in South Asia.

Hussain Haqqani’s statements can be used to justify anti-Pakistan arguments in circles of power, and he has been quite critical. Whenever the US urges Pakistan to do more, they have an ex-Pakistani ambassador standing in their corner and nodding his head in agreement. Yet, the reason this really rankles the state is because there is a hint of truth behind Haqqani’s stance. Have we made sacrifices in the war on terror? Most definitely. Have we taken to the fight to the terrorists? Indeed, we have. But have we done this indiscriminately and made proper efforts to coerce the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table? No one in good conscience can answer in the affirmative to the last one.