Pakistan Geopolitics

By | December 17, 2021

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim country in the world, after Indonesia.

The ‘Land of the pure’ – this is the meaning of the name – was officially born in 1947 on the territories of the former British Raj, following the postcolonial ‘partition’ of the Indian subcontinent.

Its geographical location, a hinge between the Middle East and South Asia, makes it one of the focal points of world politics. These elements, in addition to being a nuclear power, combine to make Pakistan a regional power, albeit of medium rank.

Islamabad’s relevance has grown progressively over the decades, in parallel with the growing importance of neighboring countries and the multiplication of crises in the region. India and China, as far as the southern and eastern sides are concerned, have experienced a rapid rise to the rank of world economic powers. Iran, on the southwestern border, has long been the protagonist of a crisis linked to its nuclear program, which seems to have been partially resolved only in July 2015, with the reaching of an agreement between Tehran and the countries of the P5 + group 1. Afghanistan, on the western border, has been since 2001 the main stage of the global war against Islamic terrorism. For Pakistan government and politics, please check

Pakistan’s foreign policy priorities concern relations with its neighbors and are influenced by the complex intertwining of interests that is gathering in this region of the world. The contrast with India Islamabad’s foreign agenda has dominated since independence. Over the years, the effects of four armed conflicts, repeated border skirmishes and a continuous arms race, which have led both countries to equip themselves with nuclear arsenals, have added to the religious, ethnic and cultural differences existing between the two nations. After a period of thaw, inaugurated in 2003, relations between the two powers flared up again in November 2008 following the terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal hotel, in the heart of Mumbai, carried out by the Pakistani fundamentalist group Lashkar e-Taiba. A renewed easing of tensions in 2012 was followed by a rekindling of border skirmishes in early 2013. Following the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India, the two countries have tried to relaunch dialogue; however, this attempt is constantly challenged by the open dispute over the disputed region of Kashmir. In August 2014, the Indian government canceled a meeting with representatives of the Pakistani foreign minister after the Pakistani High Commissioner in India received a group of Kashmiri separatist leaders. A new, timid attempt at dialogue was launched in July 2015 following the summit after the Pakistani High Commissioner in India received a group of separatist leaders from Kashmir. A new, timid attempt at dialogue was launched in July 2015 following the summit after the Pakistani High Commissioner in India received a group of separatist leaders from Kashmir. A new, timid attempt at dialogue was launched in July 2015 following the summitSco of Ufa, but the two countries still seem far from reaching a lasting solution to their disputes.

Another regional actor with which Islamabad has fluctuating relations is Bangladesh, which until 1971 constituted the eastern part of Pakistan: the tensions coinciding with the bloody civil war and the very first post-war period were followed by a progressive process of normalization of relations, driven by the common Muslim identity. However, there is no lack of disputes with Dacca that are difficult to resolve: from the ascertainment of responsibilities in the 1971 war to the treatment reserved for the respective minorities.

The close friendship that binds Pakistan and China is also part of the complex logic of the geopolitical equilibrium of Central and Southern Asia. Born out of the common rivalry with India as a strategic cover, and strengthened in the years of the Cold War by the shared desire to contain the Soviet Union, the Sino-Pakistani alliance has always been considered valid in Islamabad for all seasons’ (all weather ally), as it has proved stable and constant from 1951 onwards, the year in which diplomatic relations were established between the two countries. Since then, Beijing has established itself as the first arms supplier, has always provided military, economic and technical assistance to Islamabad and has supported its nuclear program. The relationship with the United States, on the other hand, is more controversial and more unstable: ‘a friend only when the weather is good’ (fair weather friend), as the relationship with Washington is defined in Islamabad .

Pakistan is part of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), the region’s leading international organization. Created in 1985 with the aim of promoting greater political and economic cooperation in South Asia, the organization has often suffered in its functioning the strong tensions between some of its eight members, and above all precisely those between Pakistan and India. In addition to the SAARC, Pakistan is an important element of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and with one of its most influential member, Saudi Arabia, a partnership economic-cultural and strategic of extraordinary intensity and consolidated tradition, also in an anti-Iranian key. In July 2015 Islamabad obtained the status of member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Sco), in whose work he had already participated as an observer since 2013. Pakistan finally adheres to the United Nations organization since its foundation, and is part of the Commonwealth. The country has been included among the next eleven economies, the economies that could emerge in the coming years together with Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as in the G20 of developing nations.

Pakistan Geopolitics