On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz sat down with reporters in Islamabad to count off the successes of the Government’s foreign policy and said that future policies would be based on consultation with security forces.

While is difficult to see how this would be a change, since much of our foreign policy is already dictated by the men in boots, an analysis of all “successes” listed will show a the age-old, security heavy, anti-India tilt to our actions. Yet Aziz makes it sound like there were other options, or that he had a choice, or that this is a new era.

It is amusing to see the government trying to own foreign policy, since it was the first thing it let go when pressure mounted on the PMLN-N. We don’t even have a full time Foreign Minister and out ministry staff is always two steps behind developments (such as the belated charge against India’s NSG membership and the F-16 fiasco). Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan has achieved significant successes in the war against terror as a result of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Pakistan’s image has been improved in the world. While the first claim may be supported, the second is an invention and it would be even worse if the Foreign Office actually believes in it. Though considering the lack of skill with which we have conducted ourselves recently, from the badly written dossiers presented to the UN against India, to the FO mistakenly releasing a statement last week condoling the death of Abdul Sattar Edhi, it seems our diplomats actually believe they are doing a good job and are oblivious to their own gaffes. If they were cognisant of their shortcomings, maybe some scrambling would have happened to reform the foreign service.

The advisor stated that Pakistan is exposing a whole network of espionage after the arrest of Kalbhushan Yadav, officer of Indian spy agency, Research Analysis Wing (RAW), and dossiers related to Yadav and investigations in its wake will be sent to the United States and India as well. Last year, Pakistan handed the UN dossiers, claiming they contained “irrefutable evidence” of India’s alleged involvement in terrorism in Pakistan. Later, testifying before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Aziz said the dossiers instead contained the “pattern and narrative” of Indian involvement and has no material evidence. No wonder the matter was never thoroughly pursued by Pakistan, nor the UN. Will these new dossiers be any different?

Next, Sartaj Aziz will tell us that the government decides what military equipment to buy and how and where it should be deployed.