Defense, Diplomacy and Development to Counter India



Friedrich Ratzel, the great German geographer, held that “great statesmen have never lacked a feeling for geography…..”

The new Pakistani government and military leadership is well aware of the fact that the attempts to install Pakistan as a formidable nation on the globe will not be fulfilled through one dimension (D) only; we need three Ds for this, i.e., Defense, Diplomacy and Development.

The 3 D concept is also known as the comprehensive approach or the whole of government approach. These terms are commonly used to describe an integrated approach towards (post)(Why is this word in brackets?) conflict states, or so-called fragile states.

But here, in the case of Pakistan, we will install these 3 Ds as a strategy to counter India.

Development refers to governmental efforts to build a strong economy and focus heavily on reconstruction. Diplomacy refers to broad spectrum engagement with other countries from the same and other regions. Defense refers to continuous focus on security apparatus and the development of arsenal and delivery systems to be deterrent to any threat, from the inside and the outside.

Pakistan’s geographic location, its Gilgit-Baltistan area, and the GwadarPort are subject areas that are widely researched by scholars around the world. Unfortunately, Pakistan till date is not a beneficiary of its strategic location. But this jinx has come to an end. And the Pakistani Government and Military have announced several huge projects, among them the Kashgar Economic Corridor is on top of the agenda. The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called this a game-changer that will change the fate of Pakistan and the entire region.

But, with this development, some states may not be happy to see Pakistan as a transit trade hub of the entire region. The Central Asian countries, which are on the top priority for business and strategic perspectives of nations around the globe, interestingly, for the same CARs, Pakistan will be on the top priority.

William Engdahl, an award-winning geo-political analyst and strategic risk consultant, whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages, stated in his recent articles that Pakistan is to become the new ‘major terror ground’ in just six months. Other regional players like India, and to some extent Iran, who have stakes in this area,are upset with these developments of Gwadar.

Pakistan’s call for peace and stability in the region was ignored intentionally. But now, it is Pakistan’s turn to ignore India and concentrate on its three Ds strategy. If we study Indian activities in the Central Asian states, we can clearly see that it wants to bypass Pakistan.

India has no direct land access to Central Asia. Wikipedia, however, linked India with Afghanistan. India has fought several wars with its neighbors, and has border disputes with two prominent neighbors- China and Pakistan. Indian planners know their this strategic impotency. India, despite normalizing relations with Pakistan and China, is busy in seeking alternative access routes to Central Asian states, and is on a mission not to respect Pakistan’s interests; but they will be seen active everywhere where one can find that Pakistan can get some benefit. India invested heavily in the Iranian Chabahar.The port was partially built by India in the 1990s, to provide access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.

They see Pakistan as a barrier in their quest to reach Central Asia. India has documented its Central Asian policy with the name ‘Connect Central Asian Policy’. After thorough study, one can find that there is no dependence on Pakistan in their stated policy. Geo-strategists and geo-politicians around the world are of the view that Pakistan and China are well aware of the Indian designs for Central Asia, and are well placed to prevent India from projecting any hard power in Central Asia.

India has several foreign policy doctrines, among which ‘Connect Central Asia’ and ‘Look East Policy’are well known.

Indian planners are well aware of the fact that they are not in a position to ignore Pakistan’s geostrategic location, and therefore, they are trying to construct the Indian version of the Silk Road.

Any offer from Pakistan to include India and to facilitate it to be benefited from Pakistan’s location is seen in India as unacceptable. The transit trade facility Pakistan can offer is seen in India as a trap, and the money paid for transit trade by India is seen as financial reparations. Indian planners are good at formulating foreign policy doctrines, with an ambition to match and win from China at the regional level.

After the dawn of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the possible entry of Pakistan in the SCO as a member state will further strengthen Pakistan’s position in the Central Asian region. The recent announcement by the Chinese president in this regard has caught global attention.

President Xi Jinping proposed that China and the Central Asian countries build an “economic belt along the Silk Road”, a trans-Eurasian project spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.

Xi made the official suggestion for the first time during a speech on China’s Central Asia strategy at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.Xi’s announcement is of paramount importance for Pakistan, and in the case of its implementation, Pakistan’s position in the region will get fortified.

Indian planners are alert and are observing the changes, and as discussed above, India has specialized foreign policy doctrines for every region. And whenever they find a chance, they work exclusively for the isolation of Pakistan. To counter this Indian desire to isolate Pakistan at the regional or the international level, Pakistan should pursue this weapon of diplomacy, and reach to regions and countries with which Pakistan has no or less diplomatic relations. The regional chessboard is in the favour of Pakistan; we just need an intelligent diplomacy to counter the Indian diplomatic offensive. Pakistan is going to be the jugular of any rising superpower, so Pakistan’s diplomacy should not be surrounded by confusion. The Indians may have specialized doctrines, and a special relations with the US, but the internal politics shaping up in India is not in the favourof its being a policeman of the USA in the region; some Indian politicians and planners see this Indian posture as a threat rather than a way to compete with China. The Pakistani government should look carefully into these foreign policy doctrines of India, and should learn how it can state its priorities. Pakistani diplomats and officials should be given tasks in various regions, and should formulate specialized doctrines for the specific regions and countries. Recently, Pakistan-Russia strategic dialogue was a milestone. Pakistan should vigorously pursue a diplomatic strategy throughout Asia. Pakistan must install this D – Diplomacy – in its strategy to project and lift Pakistan not only as a regional power, but also a hub that can play its role on the world stage.

As time passed, the nature of war changed. Today, a country with a strong economy and infrastructure can play a bigger role, and can threaten its adversary by gaining economic boom. Pakistan, as a natural transit trade hub, can get the status of an economic powerhouse if the recent projects of Kashgar economic corridor, Gwadar Port and IP pipeline completed in time. Pakistan’s economy can be shaped in a very short time, we just need to install the D – Development – in our strategy. The economy of Pakistan is the 27th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), and 44th largest in terms of nominal GDP. A focus on Pakistan’s transit trade capability can list Pakistan in the top 10 of the world. The Indian economic boom is sometimes projected as the world’s greatest, while  the growth process currently underway in India is inherently biased against the poor, the marginalized and the underprivileged. Two comparison groups provide a powerful and disturbing insight into India’s growth process. First, there are many countries which have grown at rates very similar to India’s, but which have managed to register marked declines in socio-economic inequalities. In stark contrast to this, India has witnessed an increase in socio-economic inequality since 1990. Second, in comparison to its close neighbors, with whom India has many geographical, climactic, cultural and social commonalities, India emerges as the worst performer among the South Asian countries. Ona per-capita-income basis, India ranked 141st by nominal GDP and 130th by GDP (PPP) in 2012 according to the IMF. Initiating today an economic boom plan for Pakistan can list Pakistan in the top economies of the world.

Since independence, Pakistan focused rightly on its defense capabilities; this resulted in the establishment of professional armed forces. The Pakistani Armed Forces officials showed more strategic maturity than Indians in the war of 1948 and 1965. The need to include strategic and military brilliance of the armed services professionals is of paramount importance for any force, because once the trend is set, the others follow the hall mark, and the force quality brightens with time. One classic example of this strategic brilliance is Air Marshal Nur Khan, Commander in Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces from 1965 to 1969, who also served as the Director of Organization in Air Force HQ. Under US aid, Pakistan was offered two fighter planes; one was F86 and the other was F84. He insisted to select F86 rather than F84, and he faced great criticism over this; but the stunning performance of these fighters provided Pakistan air superiority in just 24 hours. After becoming a nuclear armed state, Pakistan’s weapons and delivery systems is considered the most efficient, and the continuous innovation is disturbing for the Indians, as they find their doctrines eliminating in just few years, replacing them with new ones. Pakistan is in the possession of this D since its independence.

The 3D strategy will project Pakistan as a strong state in terms of Diplomacy, Development and Defense, and can counter and eliminate the Indian diplomatic, economic and defense related offenses.

is a freelance writer, geopolitical issues interests him the most. He can be reached at

Discussion6 Comments

  1. Very well written by the author.

    I’d just simply say that any part of the world can’t ignore Pakistan, because they’re like a salt in the meal and chilli as well.
    Time is near to kick off hidus ass’s….lol

  2. Waqas sahib makes a very valid and compelling argument as to what is required and what needs to be done, unfortunately Waqas sahib the present government led by Nawaz sharif has neither vision or economic plan nor a desire to do any thing constructive for Pakistan. the first D that you mention is development, this man instead talk about bullet train, we have no electric but this man wants to build a bullet train. the second D that you talk about is Diplomacy, well there was a prime example of getting back. at least leveling the playing field with India who, as you point out does not leave any opportunity to defame or isolate Pakistan at every step, recently an statement on Mumbai massacre and the attack on Indian Parliment was given by a leading Indian police officer Satish Verma that these were inside jobs. did Nawaz take this up in the same way that, with the same passion that the Indian government had and pursued the case world wide , NO. this was a major breaking news, but nothing happened. . so the three Ds that you talk about Nawaz Sharif has no interest in. and as long as this kind of people lead us Pakistan will not move to its rightful position in the world pecking order. and for the final D , defense, if he had his way we would not have the nuclear deterrent today. what you say is not difficult at all but does require a nationalistic government which we don;t have.

  3. India is Pakistan’s mortal enemy and is helped by others for their own Geo political financial reasons.

    Make a defense pact with new friends, fast as time is precious. Pakistan is needed elsewhere.
    India is but a stumbling block on the road.

    Its imperative that Pakistan liberate Kashmir from the Terrorist Sate of India at the same time while moving forward.

  4. Pakistan Manzil Nehin
    Nishan-e-Manzil Hain

    These are not mere words but carefully crafted defining the strategic importance of Pakistan in Central Asia. Every man, woman and child knows this fact in Pakistan and the author has articulated this well.

    Pakistan’s great revolution has been shelved since 1970’s because the focus was to secure fortress Pakistan from our mortal enemy and her alliances, decade after decade we faced threats and our Eastern neighbour was the chief architect of every threat we have faced including the last decade by lobbying the neocons to focus on Pakistan. They had also architected to have neocons use India as a base to launch attacks on India and Pakistan simultaneously but sense prevailed and Pakistan was forced to submit to neocons.

    Our Eastern neighbour has demonised Pakistan by lobbying against us in the States, conducted a carefully crafted misinformation war, launched false flag operations against Pakistan. Has incited sectarian violence in every major cities in Pakistan through their proxies collectively known as TTP.
    Co-ordinated attacks on Pakistan from Indian consulates on the Afghan-Pakistan borders. Financed traitors within Pakistan to sabotage and defame brand Pakistan, to the extent questions were raised over the 2 state theory and the long term strategic vision of the architects of Pakistan.
    Our media was sabotaged and stealth propaganda like Aman Ki Asha used to changed the perception of Ordinary Pakistanis. Non patriotic Pakistani academic were given a public mantle / platform to defile Pakistan, our unique history forcing the ordinary Pakistanis to re-think why Pakistan? To look at India as a victim and not a saboteur. Who would have thought of corrupt politicians like Zardari, Shareef to lead our nation and rats like Haqqani to work as an ambassador to the Us trading Pakistani secrets and the mouth piece of India and the enemy of Pakistan. In one decade our economy left in tatters, judiciary destroyed, a u turn in our foreign policy and strategic goals, our army humiliated by our own and the ISI rather be defended has been hounded in even in the height of foreign backed terrorists plaguing our strategic regions spreading like cancer.

    Every trick in the book has been used against our nation with the ordinary Pakistani left oblivious to the threats by a sabotaged media, our diplomats became the mouth piece of the enemy unable to distinguish between Afghan Taliban and Tereek-e-Taliban the Pakistan Army and ISI seen as culprits. Had we been a dysfunctional, divided nation riddled with traitors in the core our fate would have been no different to Libya , Yemen or Syria and our enemies would be laughing at the decaying corpse of the free Islmaic state, the dream and vision of Allama Iqbal and the Quaid’s greatest diplomatic win, the greatest diplomatic win in the history of the modern world – Pakistan. The hope of a stable, rich and free Central Asia ( Khorasan ) would be no more, our sisters dishonoured and we would behave become the living dead.

    Thank fully this has not been our fate and we have been spared this humiliation agreed at a great cost by the grace of Allah SWT because sadly I have lost faith in the ordinary Pakistani because if he / she had the sense we would not have been led by Shareef today but even that may be a lesser evil as the other possibility would have been an incompetent PTI however sincere has shown his incompetency and naivety. This may be a learning curve for PTI so they are mature In politics next time round so we have Shareef so Allahu Alim. The ordinary Pakistani had an opportunity to demand and contiue demanding for a better Pakistan from the elected leader instead his reapproachment to India smells foul and not providing the Army with the powers to go after TTP at a time when they are fragmented and breathing their last breath, ignoring Pakistani Afwaj and Civilian Shohodah, disinterested in Kashmir remains threats we need to counter.

    Neverthe less we remain united despite the threats and strategic moves by our enemies to stale mate Pakistan’s opportunity to rise.

    A nation with our history and noble conceptions, great visionary founders and faced with threat every decade of its existence and to remain is no ordinary nation.

    We have a lot at stake here, multi dimensional drivers to bring peace and stability not only to Pakistan but the region, geo-socio/political, economical, cultural, historical and religious. We must remain vigilant as Pakistanis against stealth attacks from our enemy through their internal mouth pieces inside Pakistan inside our political ranks, judiciary, media and academia whose attacks are every much as potent and deadly as the terror proxies like TTP.

    Most of all continue to educate the ordinary Pakistani that continues to remain oblivious to the threat, hold our elected government accountable but most of all continue your support for The Pakistani Army and ISI the only institution remain uncompromised.

    Let’s make dua to rebuild Pakistan, we have sacrificed and more sacrifice will be required way after the last American boots leave Afghanistan and the Indian consulates are closed down or razed to the ground.

    The world is looking to Central Asia to revive the stagnant global economy and drive the world to another period of development and progress.

    Pakistan Manzil Nehin.
    Nishan-e- Manzil Hain.

    The revolution needs to continue, the starting line is Pakistan and not the end line.

  5. A really nice attempt by the author.
    But when you compare please compare apple with apple. Its mentioned Pakistan is 27th largest economy and India ranks 141 something as per per capita GDP. As per IMF 2012 fig. India was at 139 and Pakistan was at 143 rankings in terms of per capita GDP. The ranking which put Pakistan at 27th position that puts India at number 3 position after US and China and ahead of Japan, Germany and Russia. However, we wish you the best for your economy.

    Its good that you are following India’s diplomacy and trying to learn from it. However, please remove this from your mind that India’s diplomacy is all about putting Pakistan down or something. India’s policies are independent of external factors and more for its national interest. India is struggling with trade imbalance and is trying to have business relations with all countries. Despite border dispute China is one of the biggest trading partner of India. India has even granted MFN status to Pakistan unilaterally. For India business is priority and not the politics. Look Ease and connect central asia policies are not anti pakistan but for india’s business interest. India does not mind taking Pakistan along but Pakistan has always proved itself wrong. Remember we wanted Iran, Pakistan, India oil pipeline but Pakistan created hurdles.

    Each nation must be equipped to defend its people and territories and accordingly it should prepare its defence. However, in modern times, defence does not mean just military superiority, its more of economic and technological superiority. Despite having nuclear weapons, Pakistan got hammered diplomatically by the world and militarily by India during the Kargil war. Even best of the buddies wont support during war. Remember China did not come to your rescue during 1971 war and nor could USA do any thing.

    Any policy that is designed keeping in mind peace and general prosperity will indeed flourish but reactionary policies wont do any good in the long run.

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