Pakistan’s desperate attempts to launch diplomatic offence against India after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir have reaped no benefits. Pakistan has rather had some hard realisations to absorb after it miserably failed at garnering any international support against India by using the Kashmir card.
Pakistan’s foreign policy challenges aren’t less than its ongoing economic hardships and the success of ‘Howdy Modi’ event in the US has left Pakistan rattled and yearning for support from the international community.
Imran Khan was in Riyadh before leaving for the US to attend the United Nations General Assembly Session and his agenda was clearly centred around gaining impetus for its Kashmir stance by keeping the Saudi Kingdom on its side.
Paradoxically, as one of the world’s largest oil production unit in Saudi Arabia was hit by a drone attack, the discussions only got limited to the growing war-like situation in the Middle East.
There is tension in the Middle East about the instigation of a US-Iran war as Tehran is being blamed for the drone attacks on Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s largest oil-producing plants.
While the statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan talked about Saudi Arabia’s leadership reiterating support to Pakistan on Kashmir, the official statement by Saudi Arabia only talked about Imran Khan’s condemnation of the attacks on Saudi Arabia and did not mention Kashmir even once. Clearly, Saudi Arabia has not extended the empathy and support Islamabad was looking for.
Pakistan would be hoping that the peace process in Afghanistan goes ahead smoothly so that there is a better relationship between Pakistan and the US which the former can use to its advantage. Securing peace in Afghanistan will also secure Pakistan’s western border but the peace process seems to be derailed for now.
Pakistan was left clearly left frustrated when Donald Trump quashed dialogue with the Taliban leadership as Islamabad wanted to focus on Kashmir once peace in Afghanistan was attained.
If at all there’s a war in the Middle East owing to attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing facilities, the focus of the International community will drift away from Jammu and Kashmir and all the efforts of Pakistan to garner support for Kashmir cause will come falling.
These are some of the major diplomatic challenges for Pakistan and its largely dependent on how things the Middle East (with respect to Iran) and Afghanistan unfold so that Islamabad could go on beating the drums on Kashmir.