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Foreign Policy in Perspective Benazir Bhutto

Foreign Policy in Perspective Benazir Bhutto


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Published by Sani Panhwar
First book authored by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in 1978
First book authored by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in 1978

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Published by: Sani Panhwar on Mar 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Since this article is on Foreign Affairs, we are not discussing Mr. Bhutto’s
tremendous achievements in internal affairs of the Country. We will pick-up the
thread of Foreign policy where Mr. Bhutto had left it in 1966. When he took over
the reins of the country in the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, Mr.
Bhutto found the world changed. The Soviet Union and the United States had
moved away from the hostility and confrontation to co-operation and detente.
The United States had come to recognize the power and reality of the Peoples
Republic of China. There were hard indications that negotiations to end the
senseless war in Vietnam were on the anvil. Relations between Western Europe
and Eastern Europe had taken a more pragmatic turn. The Hallstein Doctrine
had been buried. Chancellor Willy Brandt used Ost Politik in dealing with the
question of two German States and in tackling the larger European question.
Britain had joined the European common Market. Portugal was on the verge of
losing her colonies in Africa. President Sadat had come to power in Egypt on the
death of President Abdul Jamal Nasser. A young and revolutionary leader called
Muammar Gaddafi had overthrown the Monarchy in Libya. A Federation of the
Sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf had been formed. Above all, from the stand
points of the sub-continent, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 had led to the creation
of the State of Bangladesh. Mujib-ur-Rahman the leader of the dismembered part
of Pakistan was still in jail in West Pakistan, and now Pakistan. On the
international plane Pakistan stood isolated. Except for the sympathy of Iran and
Turkey and the Arab States, Indian propaganda had been so effective and
mistakes of Yahya Regime so monumental that the general sympathy and
support was heavily tilted against Pakistan. The United States Administration
tried to be useful but American public opinion was very hostile. China also tried
to be helpful but was unable to prevent the calamitous outcome of the war. The
Soviet Union gave unbridled support to the other side. The British also became
hysterical for once in their calm and reserved approach to the problems of their
former Indian Empire, by supporting the cause of Bangladesh. For the Nations of
Western Europe, who believed or wanted to give that impression, Britain became
the path-setter on the ground that nobody understood the sub-continent better
than the British. The nations of Eastern Europe followed the Soviet lead. In Africa,
only the Muslim States like Nigeria and Somalia were sympathetic to Pakistan.
The other African States either supported the other side or kept silent because of
the secessionist potential within their own national boundaries. In South East
Asia and the Far East, Australia and Japan were more conspicuous in leaning
towards the Indian position. To a lesser extent, with the exception of Vietnam
and Cambodia, both of whom were embroiled in their own wars, the other States
of the region took the same position. Essentially speaking although not on a case
by case basis Pakistan stood precariously isolated in December 1971. Many a

Foreign Policy in Perspective Copyright © www.benazir.bhutto.org


Foreign office analysts were busy with the question of whether the rest of
Pakistan would be able to stand the physical and psychological shock of the
dismemberment of its majority province, a province which the advocates of
Bangladesh described as “the captive Market”. States familiar with the Pakistan-
Afghanistan difference, were of the opinion that the total dismemberment of
Pakistan was only a matter of time. This is the grim external situation inherited
by Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he became the first directly elected President of
Pakistan. Internally, the Country did not have a Constitution and the economy
lay in shambles. India held 90,000 prisoners of war and over 5,000 square miles
of territory in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh. And in the former princely
state of Kashmir substantial losses were incurred in the northern Part.

The International outlook called for review and mobilization of support by the
Muslim States to strengthen Pakistan’s position in the world. With this end in
view, the new President invited the Shahanshah of Iran to Islamabad. The
Shahanshah responded to the invitation and was again the first Head of State to
visit Pakistan. President Bhutto paid an unscheduled and an unannounced visit
to Kabul to discuss future relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He made
two lightening journeys to the Muslim States of Africa and the Middle East to
muster support for Pakistan. He invited the President of Romania to visit
Pakistan. He also invited Sheikh Zeid, the new President of the U.A.E Federation
to make a state visit to Pakistan. In January 1972 he went to Peking for the same
purpose. He got the Chinese leaders to block the admission of Bangladesh to the
United Nations until there was a comprehensive settlement in the sub-continent.
He went to the Soviet Union in March 1972 to repair the damage done to the
relations between Pakistan and the Soviet Union. It was a very difficult mission
but President Bhutto succeeded in arresting the deterioration. He opened a
constructive dialogue with the United State on Pakistan-U.S. relations.

Foreign Policy in Perspective Copyright © www.benazir.bhutto.org


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