Lahore School of Economics

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Political Dimensions of Pakistan

Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, (Ex) Vice-Chancellor, University of Peshawar

The Geo-strategic location of Pakistan is such that it makes it an important and vital corridor, not only to the mineral resources of the Caspian Sea and Central Asian Republics, but also a major focal point in the politics of the Middle East. It’s a meeting of cultures Iranian, and Chinese culture, Indian culture and Central Asian Culture, meet the Arab culture. After the 9/11 incident, the world focus shifted to Central Asia, or Central Eurasia as it is now known, and the easiest and shortest access, to it is through Pakistan. With all these events taking place around it, Pakistan has gained an important role to play in this region, due to its geographic location. Pakistan could have gained much from its geographic position but it could not do so in all these years. Pakistan could not organize a political party which could cater to the needs of all the four provinces, or could represent the whole nation.

The problem with Pakistani politics is that we neither have Politicians, nor Statesmen, what we have are image builders as they are known in Political Science. Because of its geographic location, enterprising and energetic population, it has the attention of not only the major Islamic countries, but of major powers of the world as well. The U.S. used it in Afghanistan against the Russians, because of its well-disciplined and professional Army, and the only Islamic country to have nuclear weapons; Pakistan has now become the focus of attention of two major Islamic countries, and their proxy war, may be fought on Pakistani soil. With the U.S. leaving Afghanistan as a defeated nation, it would like to complete its unfinished agenda in this region through other means. Their agenda, to come to Afghanistan was to contain China, through the province of Xingjian and Balkanize this part of the world as proposed by Professor Bernard Lewis. They may use the Taliban to complete their plans in Xingjian and Pakistan. The real test for the political skill of Pakistani leadership would start when the U.S. withdrawal is complete from Afghanistan. How we handle the so called Taliban, the sectarian war which is being fueled from outside, the insurgency in Baluchistan and the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Pakistani politics needs to go through a big over haul and the present political thinking needs to change, we need to break this vicious circle of feudal and religious politics and look towards the developing world, so that we can compete with other nations and find ourselves a respectable position in the community of nations.

About the presenter:

Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan served as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Peshawar from 2008-2012. He obtained his PhD (1990) from University of Peshawar and his post doc (1994) from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. He also served as a Visiting Professor at the Russian Diplomatic Academy Moscow, Russia from 2004-2012. Moreover he was a Visiting Professor, Command and Staff College Quetta from 2003-2010. From 1996- 2008 he served as a Director Area Study Center (Russia, China and Central Asia) University of Peshawar. To add more, from 1979 to date he has been teaching M.Phil./PhD students and supervising their thesis and dissertations at Area Study Center (Russia, China and Central Asia), University of Peshawar.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4/04/2014 02:30:00 PM,

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