Bengaluru, July 2: Reactions have not stopped emerging out of Pakistan ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked during an interview with Times Now's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami asking "Who to talk to in Pakistan?"
First it was the neighbouring country's Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz who put the blame on India saying the latter was obdurate in its take on dialogue with Pakistan. Then Pakistan's Foreign Office came out with a more balanced reaction saying the country's army was never against having normal relations with India. And now, a former editor of Pakistan's leading daily Dawn questioned Islamabad's foreign policy itself, equating it with a "dog's breakfast in all its messy manifestation". [Has PM Modi's one question rattled Pakistan?]
In his article titled "Foreign policy or fiasco" published in the daily on Saturday, Abbas Nasir said Pakistan's foreign policy successes were outnumbered by failures which was evident from the fact that it was being surrounded by "estranged neighbours" on all sides excepting a "tiny window in the north accessed through some of the highest mountains in the world" (read China). [Why Pakistan is making less noise on India's entry in MTCR?]
Tough tasks await PM Nawaz Sharif
Nasir, who expressed hope that the return of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the country after a gap of five weeks should end the paralysis that Pakistan found itself in. Sharif recently underwent an open heart surgery and was recuperating in the UK.
The journalist said several pressing issues were awaiting Sharif and hoped a fitter premier would be able to take "tough decisions".
Nasir said one of PM Sharif's main task will to be find a successor to army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, who is set to retire in around five months time and will not take up a new tenure.
He said the permier will also be under pressure in the foreign policy domain as things are in a "shambles".
Issues like cancellation of the F 16 deal with the US, lag in dialogue with India and the state of affairs in Pakistan's relations with other neighbours like Iran and Afghanistan to which India has reached out in the recent past need addressed so that foreign policy can be led in a fresh new direction, the article said.
The writer also criticised Aziz in teh article, saying the otherwise "candid" man diverted from the task of bringing out the "real reason for the mess".