Foreign relations of Pakistan

Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population (behind Indonesia), and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role. Pakistan is also an important member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Pakistan is an active member of the United Nations. Historically, its foreign policy has encompassed difficult relations with the Republic of India; especially on the core-issue of india's subjugation and occupation of Kashmir, a desire for a stable Afghanistan, long-standing close relations with China, closer cultural and economic ties with Iran, extensive security and economic interests in the Persian Gulf and wide-ranging bilateral relations with the United States and other Western countries.

Wary of Soviet expansion, Pakistan had strong relations with both the United States of America and the People's Republic of China during much of the Cold War.

It was a member of the CENTO and SEATO military alliances. Its alliance with the United States was especially close after the Soviets invaded the neighboring country of Afghanistan. In 1964, Pakistan signed the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) Pact with Turkey and Iran, when all three countries were closely allied with the U.S., and as neighbors of the Soviet Union, wary of perceived Soviet expansionism. To this day, Pakistan has a close relationship with Turkey. RCD became defunct after the Iranian Revolution, and a Pakistani-Turkish initiative led to the founding of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) in 1985. Pakistan's relations with India have improved recently and this has opened up Pakistan's foreign policy to issues beyond security. This development might completely change the complexion of Pakistan's foreign relations.

Bilateral relations

Asia

Azerbaijan

Pakistan recognized independence of Azerbaijan 1991 (the second country after Turkey) and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. Pakistan was one of the first countries to open its Embassy in Baku.

People's Republic of China

In 1950, Pakistan was among the first countries to break relations with the Republic of China or Taiwan and recognize the People's Republic of China. Following the Sino-Indian hostilities of 1962, Pakistan's relations with the PRC became stronger; since then, the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. China has provided economic, military, and technical assistance to Pakistan. The alliance remains strong.

Favorable relations with China have been a pillar of Pakistan's foreign policy. China strongly supported Pakistan's opposition to Soviet involvement in Afghanistan and was perceived by Pakistan as a regional counterweight to India and the USSR. The PRC and Pakistan also share a close military relation, with China supplying a range of modern armaments to the Pakistani defence forces. Lately, military cooperation has deepened with joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to guided missile frigates. Chinese cooperation with Pakistan has reached high economic points with substantial investment from China in Pakistani infrastructural expansion.

Republic of India

Since independence, relations between Pakistan and India have been characterized by rivalry and suspicion. Although many issues divide the two countries, the most sensitive one since independence has been the status of Kashmir.

At the time of independence and the departure of the British from South Asia, the princely state of Kashmir, though ruled by a Hindu Maharajah installed by the British colonialists, had an overwhelmingly Muslim population who often refused to recognize him. When the Maharajah hesitated in acceding to either Pakistan or India in 1947, his Muslim subjects, aided by Pashtun tribesmen from Pakistan, revolted in favor of joining Pakistan. India has long alleged that regular troops from Pakistan had participated in the partial occupation of Kashmir from the Western front, however at the time of independence, the Pakistani army was still under the control of British officers and in quite a state of dissaray since much of its arms, equipment and officer corps was still stationed elsewhere in South Asia. Under highly dubious circumstances, in exchange for military assistance in containing the revolt, the Kashmiri Hindu ruler offered his allegiance to India. Indian troops occupied the central & eastern portion of Kashmir, including its capital, Srinagar, while the west-north western parts succeeded in joining up with Pakistan. ("See First Kashmir War")

India addressed this dispute in the United Nations on January 1, 1948. One year later, the UN arranged a cease-fire along a line dividing Kashmir, but leaving the northern end of the line undemarcated and the vale of Kashmir (with the majority of the population) under Indian occupation. India and Pakistan agreed with UN resolutions which called for a UN-supervised plebiscite to determine the state's future. India has since refused to carry out the plebicite and refused to remove its estimated 700,000 troops, one of the highest density of troops to civilian population in the world, from the region fearing that the Kashmiri people will vote in favor of Pakistan.

Full-scale hostilities erupted in September 1965, when insurgents who were trained and supplied by Pakistan were operating in Indian-controlled Kashmir. ("See Operation Gibraltar") Hostilities ceased three weeks later, following mediation efforts by the UN and interested countries. In January 1966, Indian and Pakistani representatives met in Tashkent, U.S.S.R., and agreed to attempt a peaceful settlement of Kashmir and their other differences. ("See Indo-Pakistani War of 1965")

Following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 when India took advantage of civil disturbances in Pakistan's east wing and aided the seperatist Bengali's to achieve independence, Bengladesh was located almost 1000 kms away from the mainland of Pakistan, Pakistan President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi met in the mountain town of Shimla, India, in July 1972 for the Shimla Accords. They agreed to a line of control in Kashmir resulting from the December 17, 1971 cease-fire, and endorsed the principle of settlement of bilateral disputes through peaceful means. In 1974, Pakistan and India agreed to resume postal and telecommunications linkages, and to enact measures to facilitate travel. Trade and diplomatic relations were restored in 1976 after a hiatus of five years.

Much to Pakistan and the world communities surprise, India's nuclear test in 1974 generated great uncertainty in Pakistan and is generally acknowledged to have been the impetus for Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program. In 1983, the Pakistani and Indian governments accused each other of aiding separatists in their respective countries, i.e., Sikhs in India's Punjab state and Sindhis in Pakistan's Sindh province. In April 1984, tensions erupted after troops were deployed to the Siachen Glacier, a high-altitude desolate area close to the China border left undemarcated by the cease-fire agreement (Karachi Agreement) signed by Pakistan and India in 1949. Indian troops heightened tensions in the region by occupying several uninhabitable posts along the Siachen glacier.

Tensions diminished after Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister in November 1984 and after a group of Sikh hijackers were brought to trial by Pakistan in March 1985. In December 1985, President Zia and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi pledged not to attack each other's nuclear facilities. (A formal "no attack" agreement was signed in January 1991.) In early 1986, the Indian and Pakistani governments began high-level talks to resolve the Siachen Glacier border dispute and to improve trade. Much of negotiations stalled due to indian "heel dragging".

Bilateral tensions increased in early 1990, when Kashmiri militants began a campaign of violence against Indian oocupation of Kashmir. Subsequent high-level bilateral meetings relieved the tensions between the Republic of India and Pakistan, but relations worsened again after the destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindu fanatics in December 1992 and terrorist bombings in Bombay,now Mumbai, in March 1993. Talks between the Foreign Secretaries of both countries in January 1994 resulted in deadlock.

In the late 1990s, the Indo-Pakistani relationship veered sharply between rapprochement and conflict. After taking office in February 1997, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif moved to resume a official dialogue with India. A number of meetings at the foreign secretary and Prime Ministerial level took place, with positive atmospherics but little concrete progress. The relationship improved markedly when Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee traveled to Lahore for a summit with Sharif in February 1999. There was considerable hope that the meeting could lead to a breakthrough. Unfortunately, in spring 1999 infiltrators from Pakistan occupied positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control in the remote, mountainous area of Kashmir near Kargil, thereby threatening the ability of India to supply its forces on the Siachen Glacier. By early summer, serious fighting flared in the Kargil sector. The fighting lasted about a month and Indian forces were able to push back the infiltrators (India accused(and provided evidence,which is however, disputed) that it was Pakistan's military which had occupied Indian posts in the region. Indian Army left their posts in winter). The Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under pressure from the US president Bill Clinton withdrew Pakistan's army from remaining posts.

Relations between India and Pakistan continued to be strained when Pervez Musharraf came to power on October 12, 1999 Pakistani coup d'état. India alleged that Pakistan provided monetary and material support to Kashmiri militants, a charge which Pakistan has always denied.

In 2001, following the 9/11 attacks, the United States formed an alliance with Pakistan in its War on Terror refusing an indian offer to use its air bases for operations against Afghanistan and prefering to confer on Pakistan the title of "Major Non-Nato Ally". Pakistanis themselves started to grow disillusioned with jihadi militants, regardless of the causes they claimed to follow. Musharraf dropped his insistence that no issues could be discussed until the Kashmir issue was fully solved. Bilateral meetings between the two sides resulted in new people-to-people contacts. Air services and cricket matches were restored. Trains started plying between Sindh and Rajasthan. Bans on Indian movies and TV channels were eased in Pakistan. Transport links across the Line of Control in Kashmir were re-opened. More importantly the intelligence services and armies of the two countries started to cooperate in identifying terrorists who threatened attacks. On June 20, 2004, both countries agreed to extend a nuclear testing ban and to set up a hotline between their foreign secretaries aimed at preventing misunderstandings that might lead to a nuclear war. [http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/06/20/india.pakistan] In 2007 the two countries agreed to start flights between their capitals. Legal trade between the countries reached 2 billion dollars per year.

Islamic State of Afghanistan

Pakistan shares a long and porous border with Afghanistan (also called the Durand Line). The border is poorly marked. The problem is exacerbated by cultural, historical, linguistic, ethnic and political ties crossing close relations between peoples who live on both sides of the border. This is further complicated by the fact that many of the Pashtun tribes on both sides of the border are often married and refuse to recognize it. The two countries were once united as recently as 150 years ago under the founder of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, a pashtun leader born in Multan, Pakistan. He united various tribes and laid the foundations of the country Afghanistan in 1762.

Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Pakistani Government played a vital role in supporting the Afghan resistance movement and assisting Afghan refugees. Pakistan absorbed an estimated 5 million refugees and provided shelter, education, food rations and assistance to them. Social and health indicators dropped considerably during this period as Polio and Tuberculosis, previously eradicated from the country, were re-introduced and the country became awashed with drugs, weopons, prostitution rings and increased incidences of crime, poverty and violence. After the Soviet withdrawal in February 1989, Pakistan, with cooperation from the world community, continued to provide extensive support for displaced Afghans. In 1999, the United States provided approximately $70 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in Pakistan, mainly through multilateral organizations and NGOs.

Pakistani strategists view Afghanistan as providing "strategic depth" in the event of a war with neighboring India. In the event that the Indian Army crosses into Pakistan, the Pakistan Army would temporary locate supplies in Afghanistan and prepare for a counter-offensive. Furthermore, many Pakistani saw in Afghanistan and Afghans a common bond based on religion, history, culture, language and ethnic ties. At various times, Pakistan backed the mujahideen against the Soviets, mujahideen against each other and the Taliban against the Northern Alliance.

The overthrow of the Taliban Regime in November 2001 has seen somewhat strained relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The present Karzai administration in Kabul feels that the remnants of the former Taliban government are being supported by factions within Pakistan for the same above reasons. Interestingle, Hamid Karzai's parents both lived in Pakistan during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan has subsequently banned the Taliban and carried out many operations against them. The Pakistan army has lost more troops than all the coalition and Afghan troops combined in the war on terror. On June 15th 2008, in the after-math of successful major Taliban operations, due to growing internal instability within Afghanistan and the Karzai's government inability to address domestic issues, the Afghan government issued a statement threatening to send its army across the Durand Line in pursuit of rebels stationed along the mountainous border inside Pakistan; the statement caused considerable damage to bilateral relations and was rebuked by Pakistani officials as innapropriate.

A large share of Afghanistan's foreign and economic trade is either with, originates from or passes through, Pakistan. Afghanistan is largely dependent on Pakistan for basic foodstuffs and most of its commerce has historically been directed towards Pakistan. The recent low points in bilateral relations between the two countries has harmed economic interests between the two and caused an increase in inflation within Afghanistan with considerable hardship being felt by the already power Afghan people.

Tajikistan

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, established diplomatic relationship with the Republic of Tajikistan in 1992, but cooperation between these two countries started from 1991. Geographically Tajikistan is the nearest Central Asian State to Pakistan - fourteen kilometeres between two countries.

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's ties with Pakistan is warming gradually. Pakistan has been recently supplying military equipment to the Sri Lankan armed forces. Pakistan is against and does not support the Tamil rebels.

People's Republic of Bangladesh

The Bangladesh-Pakistan relationship is yet to be at a level that may be called warm. However since full diplomatic relations were implemented in January 1976, it has shown improvement in bilateral relations concerning commerce, culture and trade and making reconciliatory agreements.

Landmarks in their reconciliation are:

*An August 1973 agreement between Bangladesh and Pakistan on the repatriation of numerous individuals, including 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war stranded in Bangladesh as a result of the 1971 conflict;
*A February 1974 accord by Bangladesh and Pakistan on mutual diplomatic recognition, followed more than 2 years later by establishment of formal diplomatic relations on January 18th 1976
*The organization by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of an airlift that moved almost 250,000 Bengalis from Pakistan to Bangladesh, and non-Bengalis from Bangladesh to Pakistan; and
*Exchanges of high-level visits, including a visit by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to Bangladesh in 1989 and visits by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to Pakistan in 1992 and in 1995.

Issues need resolving:
*Division of assets from the pre-1971 period
*Repatriation of 250,000 ethnic Biharis known as "Stranded Pakistanis"
*Possibly the most important and most sensitive issue is the Question of Pakistan's apology for the genocide in 1971 which has lead to the break down of numerous talks between the two.

Iraq

Iraq and Pakistan have had close cultural, friendly, and cooperative relations since the latter's independence in 1947. Issues such as Iraqi support for Pakistan in its 1971 war with India (which Iraq also has excellent relations with), and Pakistani support for Iraq against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War have forged relations between the two. Relations soured during the Gulf War when Pakistan contributed troops for the UN Coalition, seeing it as a betrayal due to Iraq's constant support for Pakistan in their previous wars with India. In 2002, Saddam Hussin visited India and said he gave his unwavering support to India over the Kashmir dispute. In 2003, Pakistan rejected US's request to send troops for the invasion which have helped soothed relations between the two.

State of Israel

Pakistan has stated it will not recognize the State of Israel until a Palestine nation-state is created and Palestinian refugees return to their lands. Afterwards, Pakistan would consider the relations between Tel Aviv-Yafo (the U.N. Recognized capital city) and Islamabad.

In 2003, President Pervez Musharraf raised the issue of possible diplomatic relations with Israel, and in 2005 the foreign ministers of the two countries held talks for the first time. However, following the meeting Musharraf said Pakistan will not recognise the state of Israel until an independent Palestinian state is established.

Kyrgyz Republic

Pakistan extended diplomatic recognition to the Kyrgyz Republic on December 20, 1991. A Protocol for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan was signed on May 10, 1992. Pakistan's diplomatic resident Mission at Ambassadorial level was established at Bishkek in August 1995.

There have been high level visits from both sides in last ten years. In December 2000, the Chief Executive of Pakistan extended an invitation to Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev to pay a State visit to Pakistan. The invitation was accepted by the President of Kyrgyzstan.

Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan co-operate with each other in various fields for the promotion of trade and economic relations between the two countries. A few Pakistan nationals have established their business concerns in the fields of hoteling, pharmacy and tourism in Kyrgyz Republic.

During the visit of Minister of State for Economic Affairs in December 1991, an export credit of US$ 10 million was offered to Kyrgyzstan for the establishment of pharmaceutical factory at Bishkek. An agreement was signed in May 1993. On the request of Kyrgyzstan, keeping in view of friendly and brotherly relations with Kyrgyzstan, the Government of Pakistan rescheduled the loan repayment and prolonged its payment for the next six years. An agreement on rescheduling was signed accordingly.

One of the achievements in the economic co-operation between the two countries is the opening of the branch of the National Bank of Pakistan at Bishkek. The main aim of the bank is to boost the trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan took a decision to issue the license for the branch of the National Bank of Pakistan to open the accounts for local individuals from January 1, 2002. Before, the National Bank of Pakistan was authorized to open the accounts for the companies and organizations only. Within one year after the opening, this branch has become the profit-earning unit. After some time, the bank would be able to extend small credit facility to the local population. The National Bank of Pakistan has also offered a regular training programme for the Kyrgyz Bankers.

Pakistan is extending all possible help for Kyrgyz nationals under the Technical Assistance programme in the field of education, diplomacy, banking, English language and postal services, etc.

More than 200 Pakistani students are enrolled at various educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan on self-finance basis. Some of the medical students have already completed their studies and returned to Pakistan.

The leadership of the Kyrgyz Republic has demonstrated keen interest to have more bilateral cultural cooperation and people to people contact by establishing sister city relationship with the cities of Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. Establishment of sister city relationships between Quetta- Bishkek and Osh-Sialkot are under consideration by the two sides.

Both the countries have expressed their desire to conclude a Cultural Agreement with the aim of developing relations and mutual understanding between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. A draft Cultural Agreement is under consideration.

A draft Agreement between APP and "Kabar" news agency of Kyrgyzstan is also under consideration.

The Government of Pakistan has agreed to present a printing press to be used for production of literawre solely for Islamic purposes to the Muftiat of Kyrgyzstan.

Being the members of OIC and ECO, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan support each other on various global and regional issues as well as during the elections to the key posts in the international organizations.

Turkmenia

Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize Turkmenistan as an independent country in December 1991. Pakistan established formal diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan on 10th May 1992. The two countries (Pakistan and Turkmenistan) enjoy close and cordial relations which are rooted in common history, culture and traditions.

Exchange of high-level visits during the last 10 years give credence to the fact that Pakistan and Turkmenistan have laid foundation of mutually beneficial relations, friendship and understanding. The hallmark of the friendship was demonstrated during the official visit of the Chief Executive of Pakistan to Ashgabat in May - 2000, and again during his brief stop-over in November 2000. In the short span of 10 years, there have been six visits of Head of State/Head of Government from Pakistan to Turkmenistan. President of Turkmenistan Saparmurate Niyazov had visited Pakistan thrice in August 1994, March 1995 and March 1997.

The two countries have signed 21 Agreements and Memoranda of understanding in the fields of oil and gas, transport, energy, trade, science and culture. The issuance of commemorative stamps by Pakistan will be an important milestone in the gamut of bilateral relations.

Lebanese Republic

Lebanon and Pakistan have good relations. Pakistan has also been a steadfast supporter of Lebanon particularly when it was invaded by its southern neighbor. Additionally, Pakistan has extended moral, diplomatic and material support to Lebanon and refuses to recognize Israel officially, as a legitimate country in solidarity with the Palestinian, Lebanese and other Middle Eastern countries. Trade between the two countries has been growing considerably in recent years and has helped Lebanon rebuild itself after years of war. Many Pakistani skilled professionals and doctors have gone to Lebanon to help the people and Pakistan has opened up seats in many of its university to accomodate Lebanese students wishing to partake in higher studies. Due to the popularity of Arabic in Pakistan, Lebanese music, television shows, cultural shows and cuisine are popular and widespread throughout the country.

United Arab Emirates

Pakistan was the first country to accord formal recognition to UAE on its achieving independence. Bilateral relations and mutually beneficial cooperation have progressed steadily ever since.

Pakistan and the UAE enjoy extremely close and traternal relations, founded on deep-rooted cultural affinities, shared faith and traditions, as also geographic proximity and identity of interests. These relations date back to the UAE's formation in 1971, and have since evolved into wide-ranging co-operation in various fields. UAE has been a major donor of economic assistance to Pakistan. UAE has been appreciative of Pakistan's contribution to the evolution of key institutions in the Emirates such as armed forces, police, health and education, and has reciprocated in the same friendly manner to the full satisfaction of Pakistan.

The two countries have common perceptions on all international and regional issues of mutual concern. Frequent exchanges of high level visits and regular bilateral consultations between the two countries are reflective of the fact that Pakistan and UAE have laid strong foundations of mutually beneficial relations, friendship and peaceful cooperation over the years, UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan's major economic and trading partners. A large number of Pakistani expatriates, numbering nearly 400,000 are gainfully employed in UAE. The Pakistani expatriates in UAE have contributed in a significant manner to promotion of bilateral understanding and to the economy of Pakistan through their home remittances.

Iran

Historically, Iran was the first nation to recognize Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan has had close geopolitical and cultural-religious linkages with Iran. Relations between the two countries have existed since ancient times when the Pakistani region was part of the large Persian Empire. Persian is still considered the "cultural language" of Pakistan and most of Pakistan's national anthem is written in that language. Persian was the "lingua franca" of Pakistan up to 1843 when the British annexed parts of Pakistan and abolished its use in favour of Urdu and English. Relations between Iran and Pakistan peaked in the 60's and 70's under the Shah with considerable joint ventures and assistance provided by Iran to Pakistan. Iran is also a popular tourist spot for Pakistan's Muslims, notably its Shia population which represents about 15% of Pakistan population of 170 million people. Low period have occurred, however, strains in the relationship appeared in the 1980s, when Pakistan and Iran supported opposing factions in the Afghan conflict. Also, some Pakistanis suspect Iranian support for the sectarian violence which has plagued Pakistan. Furthermore, many Pakistani's were dissapointed when much of Iran's nuclear research was stated as having originated from Pakistan, this despite the fact that Iran's nuclear program was started some 20 years before that of Pakistan's. Nevertheless, Pakistan pursues an active diplomatic relationship with Iran, including recent overtures to seek a negotiated settlement between Afghanistan's warring factions. Pakistan also supports Iran's use of Nuclear Technology for peaceful purposes. Both countries are endeavering to improve and strengthen bilateral trade and commerce between them. On January 27th 2006, Pakistan, Iran, and India agreed to start work on IPI gasline which Pakistan needs to shrink the gap of Demand and supply of energy in Pakistan to maintain economic growth. India has consistently stalled the talks asking for more time under the duress of the United States, but Pakistan and Iran have agreed to go ahead with the project even if India doesnt participate thus highlighting the two countries commitment to the project.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has helped Pakistan in many fields since Pakistan gained independence in 1947. Since the inception of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has provided Pakistan with assistance in the form of fuel credit, fuel donation, loans, aid, donations, and gifts. Most famous example of Saudi Arabia's relationship with Pakistan is the Faisal Mosque, the National Mosque of the country in Islamabad, Pakistan. More recently, Saudi Arabia has given Pakistan hundreds of millions of dollars as a donation for the 2005 Earthquake in Pakistan. In fact, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the number 1 donor, having contributed $600 million.

Other forms of assistance given by Saudi Arabia include providing employment to millions of Pakistanis over the past 60 years. This has been a blessing for Pakistan in disguise as the workers who worked in Saudi Arabia not only accumulated wealth, when they came back to Pakistan, they led Pakistan's construction boom and introduction of modern goods and items. Saudi Arabia has also actively promoted Pakistan's social life by funding many social projects like building of Islamic community centres, relief foundations, and mosques throughout Pakistan.

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad, Pakistan.Due to the Kingdom's continuing generosity, many places in Pakistan are named after Saudi Kings and Saudi Arabia in general. For example, the city previously named Lyallpur was renamed Faisalabad in honor of the late Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Also, in Karachi, Pakistan, there are neighbourhoods named Saud Colony, Saudabad, Faisal Colony. Also in Karachi, there is an airforce base name Faisal Airbase named after King Faisal and also, in the honor of King Faisal, the main business street of Pakistan is called Sharah-e-Faisal in Karachi.

In 2005, due to passing of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan declared a three-day mourning period.

Saudi Arabia also hosted former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for 8 years while he was in exile. During his stay there, Kingdom held talks with Sharif and even provided him with license to operate business in the Kingdom. It is believed that it was Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which held talks with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan to foster their relationship and to allow Sharif back in Pakistan.

In March 2008, Saudi Arabia donated Pakistan $300 million to help with the economic problems there.

ultanate of Oman

The relationship between Muscat and Islamabad is warm, because it is the nearest Arab country to Pakistan. In 1958 Gwadar was part of Oman but was transfered to Pakistan in that year.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

It is still not exactly clear when Pakistan opened diplomatic ties to North Korea.It is said to be somewhere in the 1970s.Recent developments indicate that their relations were kept secretive to avoid suspicion from the west and the risk of economic sanctions.

Japan

Despite having been through various phases and having witnessed some vicissitudes, Japan-Pakistan relations have kept growing to the mutual benefit of the two countries. Until the late 1950s, the relationship was essentially that of two developing countries. Pakistan, being the main source of raw cotton for Japan's textile industry, was one of its major trading partners. Japanese spindles on the other hand helped build Pakistan's textile industry. In the 1960s, Japan, however, re-emerged as a modern industrialized nation and started extending Yen loan assistance to Pakistan. The Japanese assistance was doubled to Pakistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Japan, since then, has been Pakistan's major source of economic assistance, a leading trading partner and an important source of foreign investment.

Tokyo and Islamabad have long enjoyed cordial and formidable relations throughout chronology. Japan's economic assistance has played a very important role in the development of Pakistan's economic and social infrastructure. The major projects, which have been funded by the Government of Japan, include the Indus Highway Project, a number of power projects in various provinces of Pakistan, Rural Roads Construction Project and the Children Hospital PIMS lslamabad Project. Presently the Kohat Tunnel Project and the Ghazi Brotha Dam Project are being completed with the help of the Japanese assistance.

There has been a regular exchange of high level visits between the two countries. Pakistan and Japan had established formal diplomatic relations on 28th April 1952. The 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, jointly celebrated by the two countries in 2002, was a significant landmark in the history of this friendship.

Persian Gulf and Arab states

Despite popular support by many people in Pakistan for Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War, the Pakistani government supported the coalition against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and sent 11,600 troops. Pakistan enjoys close ties with the governments of the Persian Gulf particularly Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

ocialist Republic of Vietnam

Vietnam and Pakistan officially established diplomatic relations on 8 November 1972.Pakistan opened its Embassy in Hanoi in 1973. However, due to economic reasons, Pakistan closed the embassy in 1980. Vietnam also opened its embassy in Islamabad in 1978 and had to close it down in 1984 due to its own economic difficulty. Bilateral relations between Vietnam and Pakistan in recent years have considerably improved. Both countries leaders expressed their willingness to strengthen their existing relations, not only in the political sphere but also in other areas such as trade and economics, and exchange more visits from one to another’s country, including both high-ranking and working visits.Pakistan reopened its embassy in Hanoi in October 2000. Vietnam also reopened its embassy in Islamabad in December 2005 and trade office in Karachi in November 2005.

Africa

Arab Republic of Egypt

Pakistan and Egypt (Misr), both being muslim countries, share cordial relations. Both are also members of the OIC (Oraganization of Islamic Conference), as well as "the next eleven" and "D8".

udan

Due to both states sharing the same religion, being former British colonies, and refusing to recognize Israel as a legitimate nation, Pakistan and Sudan have shared generally close warm relations for decades, these relations strengthened when Sudan supported Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani Wars. But because of certain issues however, such as Pakistan's strong relations with the United States, and friendly Sudanese relations with India, Iran, and Bangladesh, things between the two countries have reached a boiling point. Despite this tension, relations between the two nations are cordial.

Europe

French Republic

Pakistan and France have high levels of diplomatic meetings and are in good terms with one another. However, these good relations haven't been around very long due to France's relations with Pakistans rival; India. Things are improving much between Pakistan and France and France donates large funds to help Pakistan with its economic problems.

Soviet Union/Russian Federation

Under military leader Ayub Khan, Pakistan sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union; trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries increased between 1966 and 1971. However, Soviet criticism of Pakistan's position in the 1971 war with India weakened bilateral relations, and many Pakistanis believed that the August 1971 Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Peace and Cooperation encouraged Indian belligerency. Subsequent Soviet arms sales to India, amounting to billions of dollars on concessional terms, reinforced this argument.

During the 1980s, tensions increased between the Soviet Union and Pakistan because of the latter's key role in helping to organize political and material support for the Afghan rebel forces. The withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and the collapse of the former Soviet Union resulted in significantly improved bilateral relations, but Pakistan's support for and recognition of the Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan remained an ongoing source of tension. Later on, government of Pakistan changed its policy towards Taliban when it joined US forces in helping to overthrow them following attacks in the US on the 11th of September 2001.

In 2007, the relations between Pakistan and the Russian Federation were reactivated after the 3-day official visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. He is the first Russian prime minister to visit Pakistan in the post Soviet Union era in 38 years. He had "in-depth discussions" with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The major focus of the visit was to improve bilateral relations with particular emphasis on ways and means to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. During the visit, two Memorandum of understanding were signed, under an MOU, the Russian Federation will cooperate with Pakistan Railways for construction of new railway tracks, supply of sleepers and signaling system, up-gradation of a railway workshops and setting up of Metro Railways in major cities of Pakistan. Under another MOU, the two countries will work for promoting cultural, educational and scientific changes.

Turkey

Relations between Pakistan and Turkey are a rare example of good relations between two countries in the broader Middle East. The relationship between the two countries and their people is based on centuries of a shared history, culture, civilization and faith.

In Pakistan, the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Ataturk, is regarded as a hero. Kemal Atatürk's triumph in forging a strong and progressive Turkey was seen by many of the Muslims of the South Asia as an embodiment of their national aspirations and served as an inspiration during their struggle for independence, which culminated in the emergence of Pakistan as an independent nation in 1947. Most conservative Muslims continue to view Atatürk as the destroyer of the Caliphate; this resulted in the Khalifat movement in the South Asia in the 1920s and in the pan-Islamic rhetoric of present-day Sunni jihadi groups.

There is a remarkable coalescence of views between Turkey and Pakistan on major issues of regional and global significance, particularly since both have been allied to the United States. The two countries have always extended full support to each other on several issues. Pakistan fully supports the cause of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey has backed the cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Their tensions over supporting rival factions during the Afghan civil war were reduced by the US-backed overthrow of the Taliban regime.

The two countries have also cooperated over the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina and have adopted joint positions on this issue at the international fora. The prime ministers of the two countries took a joint trip to Sarajevo in 1993 to express solidarity with Bosnian Muslims. Both countries also sent peace-keeping forces to Bosnia.

The two countries have worked closely with each other in the context of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) as well. Pakistan actively participated in the second ECO summit in Istanbul in July 1993. Similarly the Turkish delegation to the third ECO summit held in Islamabad in 1995, was led by President Demirel and extended full support to the strengthening of the important regional organization which includes all Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan.High level exchange of visits

The frequency of high level visits between Turkey and Pakistan has been one of the key factors in maintaining close ties between the two countries. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto paid a three-day visit to Turkey in December 1993. President of Pakistan Sardar Farooq Khan Leghari also visited Turkey in September 1994. President of Turkey Suleyman Demirel paid a three-day official visit to Pakistan in 1995 and received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the people of Pakistan. A number of agreements for increased cooperation between the two countries were signed during these visits.Defence cooperation

The commanders of the Armed Forces of the two countries exchange regular visits. There are regular programs of exchange of officers and training. The two countries have also purchased some defence related equipment from each other.Economic and trade cooperation

In the field of economy and trade relations between the two countries have been somewhat limited. However over the last few years, both countries have made conscious and sustained efforts to improve their economic relations. The Turco-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission which meets at the ministerial level to strengthen economic relations, held its 10th session in Ankara in September 1995 and adopted a comprehensive protocol to promote economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries.

Similarly, the 4th session of Turco-Pakistan Business Council was held in September 1995. There was also an exchange trade delegations between the two countries during 1995. As a result, bilateral trade between the two countries reached a level of more than $20 million in 1995.

Cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries is on the increase. Some major contracts have been awarded to the Turkish companies such as STFA. Other Turkish companies are also planning to enter the large Pakistani market.Cultural and educational cooperation

Cultural relations between Turkey and Pakistan are governed by a Cultural Cooperation Agreement. Specific cultural exchange programs are prepared under the agreement. The last protocol was signed in November 1992, for the years 1993-96. There have been a number of cultural exchange between the two countries which include visits of cultural troupes, participation in photographic, arts & crafts exhibitions and children's festivals. The Embassy of Pakistan in Ankara has also organized a number of cultural activities and Single Country Exhibitions to highlight the similarities and the diversity between the two cultures.

Radio and Television organizations of the two countries are working to establish closer relations.

Turkey and Pakistan are cooperating in the field of education. This includes cooperation between the universities of the two countries; exchange of professors and scholars, holding of seminars, exhibitions and symposia and award of scholarships to the students of the two countries. The government of Pakistan has established Chairs of Urdu and Pakistan Studies at the Ankara and Istanbul Universities. Selcuk University is also operating a Department of Urdu with the help of a Pakistani teacher.

The determination of the two countries and their peoples to forge even closer links remains undiminished. While official rhetoric stresses "brotherly ties" between Pakistan and Turkey, there are some complications due to dfferences between secular Turkey and Pakistan's continuing slide to extremism.

Baltic States

Pakistan has cordial relations with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Pakistan was among nations that recognized their independence from Soviet Union in 1992.

Bosnia

Pakistan has close relations with Bosnia. Pakistan recognised their independence from Yugoslavia. Pakistan sent in UN Peacekeeping forces to the former Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars. Pakistan and Bosnia have a free trade agreement.

United Kingdom & Commonwealth

Pakistan has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations since independence in 1947. It was not a member of the British Commonwealth from 1972 until 1989, because of the Commonwealth's recognition of Bangladesh. It was readmitted to full membership of the Commonwealth in October 1989. It was suspended with the overthrow of the democratically elected government in 1999. Its full membership has been reinstated with the backing of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for Pakistan's support in the War on Terrorism. Pakistan maintains diplomatic relations with all Commonwealth countries even though it does not have its own High Commission in each capital.

Americas

United States of America

Historically, no ally of the United States has faced as many sanctions from the US as Pakistan. The United States established diplomatic relations with Pakistan in 1949; reluctantly, at first. Since the Eisenhower administration, however, Pakistan and the US began developing more cozy relations. The American agreement to provide economic and military assistance to Pakistan and the latter's partnership in the Baghdad Pact, CENTO and SEATO strengthened relations between the two nations. At the time, its relationship with the U.S. was so close and friendly that it was called the United States' "most-allied ally" in Asia [ [http://www.fpa.org/newsletter_info2583/newsletter_info_sub_list.htm?section=Pakistan%3A%20The%20Most%20Allied%20Ally%20in%20Asia Pakistan: The Most Allied Ally in Asia] ] . Pakistanis felt betrayed and ill-compensated for the risks incurred in supporting the U.S. - after the U-2 Crisis of 1960, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had threatened the nuclear annihilation of Pakistani cities. The U.S. suspension of military assistance during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war generated a widespread feeling in Pakistan that the United States was not a reliable ally. Even though the United States suspended military assistance to both countries involved in the conflict, the suspension of aid affected Pakistan much more severely. Gradually, relations improved and arms sales were renewed in 1975. Then, in April 1979, the United States cut off economic assistance to Pakistan, except food assistance, as required under the Symington Amendment to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, due to concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 highlighted the common interest of Pakistan and the United States in peace and stability in South Asia. In 1981, the United States and Pakistan agreed on a $3.2-billion military and economic assistance program aimed at helping Pakistan deal with the heightened threat to security in the region and its economic development needs. With U.S. assistance - in the largest covert operation in history - Pakistan armed and supplied anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, eventually defeating the Soviets, who withdrew in 1988.

Recognizing national security concerns and accepting Pakistan's assurances that it did not intend to construct a nuclear weapon, Congress waived restrictions (Symington Amendment) on military assistance to Pakistan. In March 1986, the two countries agreed on a second multi-year (FY 1988-93) $4-billion economic development and security assistance program. On October 1, 1990, however, the United States suspended all military assistance and new economic aid to Pakistan under the Pressler Amendment, which required that the President certify annually that Pakistan "does not possess a nuclear explosive device."

India's decision to conduct nuclear tests in May 1998 and Pakistan's matching response set back U.S. relations in the region, which had seen renewed U.S. Government interest during the second Clinton Administration. A presidential visit scheduled for the first quarter of 1998 was postponed and, under the Glenn Amendment, sanctions restricted the provision of credits, military sales, economic assistance, and loans to the government. An intensive dialogue on nuclear nonproliferation and security issues between Deputy Secretary Talbott and Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad was initiated, with discussions focusing on CTBT signature and ratification, FMCT negotiations, export controls, and a nuclear restraint regime. The October 1999 overthrow of the democratically elected Sharif government triggered an additional layer of sanctions under Section 508 of the Foreign Appropriations Act which include restrictions on foreign military financing and economic assistance. U.S. Government assistance to Pakistan was limited mainly to refugee and counter-narcotics assistance.

Pakistan moved decisively to ally itself with the United States in its war against Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. It provided the U.S. a number of military airports and bases, for its attack on Afghanistan. It has arrested over five hundred Al-Qaeda members and handed them over to the United States; senior U.S. officers have been lavish in their praise of Pakistani efforts. Since this strategic re-alignment towards U.S. policy, economic and military assistance has been flowing from the U.S. to Pakistan and sanctions have been lifted. In the three years before the attacks of September 11, Pakistan received approximately $9 million in American military aid. In the three years after, the number increased to $4.2 billion [cite news
coauthors = Nathaniel Heller, Sarah Fort, Marina Walker Guevara, Ben Welsh
title = Pakistan's $4.2 Billion 'Blank Check' for U.S. Military Aid, After 9/11, funding to country soars with little oversight
publisher = Center for Public Integrity
date = March 27 2007
language = English
url = http://www.publicintegrity.org/icij/default.aspx
] .In June 2004, President Bush designated Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally, making it eligible, among other things, to purchase advanced American military technology. In May, 2006, The Bush administration announced a major sale of missiles to Pakistan, valued at $370 Million USD. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5038672.stm]

International disputes

* Status of Kashmir with the Republic of India.
* Durand line and refugee issue with Afghanistan.
* Boundary issues in the Rann of Kutch, Ferozepur, Pathankot and the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir with India.
* Dispute over Kori Creek and the maritime boundary with India.
* Junagarh; state that acceded to Pakistan but occupied and annexed by india; issue with India.
* Water-sharing problems with India over the Indus River (Wular Barrage)
* Illicit drugs
**Pakistan is also a producer of illicit opium and hashish for the international drug trade (poppy cultivation in 1999 - 15.7 km², a 48% drop from 1998 because of eradication and alternative development); key transit area for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western markets; narcotics still move from Afghanistan into Balochistan, Pakistan. ("See also: Golden Crescent and Opium production in Afghanistan")

See also

* Government
* Ministry of Foreign Affairs
** Foreign Minister
** Diplomatic missions
* Economy

References

External links


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