Navigating the Shifting Sands of Global Power: Pakistan’s Imperatives Amid the Evolving Global Landscape

Pakistan is at a critical moment in its foreign policy as it navigates the complexity of an ever-changing global environment.

Pakistan is at a critical moment in its foreign policy as it navigates the complexity of an ever-changing global environment. With geopolitical developments changing international relations, the country faces problems and possibilities, which affect strategic thinking and deft diplomacy. In this article, an effort is being made to ascertain the fundamental forces that shape Pakistan’s foreign policy agenda and discuss how to manage these issues, while capitalizing on new possibilities.

The Imperative of Geo-Economics:

Pakistan’s move towards economic diplomacy, typified by megaprojects like CPEC, presents substantial prospects for regional connectivity and economic growth. The value of geo-economics cannot be over-emphasized. A healthy economy guarantees a prosperous and stable country. By leveraging its strategic location and fostering partnerships with neighbouring countries, Pakistan can unlock its economic potential and promote regional prosperity. Instead of debating the merits of alternative tactics, we should focus on finding solutions that promote economic progress and security. As the global balance of power shifts, Pakistan’s commitment to a cooperative geoeconomic framework sets it apart in the international arena.

Economic Stabilization as a Priority:

The new Government in Islamabad must immediately stabilise Pakistan’s economy in the face of rising inflation and shrinking reserves. Economic stability is essential not just for internal prosperity but also for improving the country’s international status. Leveraging crucial ties with international stakeholders, notably the United States and China, is critical in obtaining the required support for economic recovery.

Great Power Contestation of Pakistan:

Pakistan’s foreign policy must be pragmatic and astute as the US-China competition heats up. Balancing ties with two superpowers while protecting national interests demands diplomatic skills. The maiden visit of Army Chief General Asim Munir to the United States created the framework for increased collaboration, notably in security and regional stability. Pakistan must, however, emphasize economic relations with China, reviving initiatives like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to encourage growth.

There should be a renewed sense of urgency about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), particularly with the introduction of five new economic corridors aimed at promoting job creation, innovation, green energy, and inclusive regional development. To jumpstart the execution of these corridors during the second phase of CPEC remains quartz-energetic. The importance of quick action is established, reaffirming the Government’s commitment to speeding the implementation process and mitigating additional delays.

Pakistan’s relationship with the United States has always been complicated, marked by transactional relationships and geopolitical upheavals. The new administration should take on the mission of redefining engagement with Washington, focusing on areas of collaboration in security, regional stability, and economic support. Securing Washington’s support for a new IMF program remains important for resolving Pakistan’s economic issues, while also promoting broader regional security.

Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif faces a daunting task in managing the escalating rivalry between the United States and China, while securing much-needed economic support from both nations. Sharif’s Government inherits significant domestic pressure, including economic challenges and political unrest. With attention divided between pressing domestic issues and foreign policy concerns, the Sharif Administration must navigate Pakistan’s strategic autonomy while balancing relations with the US and China. Despite Sharif’s pledge not to align exclusively with either power, maintaining this delicate balance grows increasingly challenging as US criticism of Chinese investments in Pakistan intensifies. While the US remains a crucial export market and a potential source of IMF support, China’s immediate financial assistance is vital for Pakistan’s economic stability. Sharif is expected to prioritise reinvigorating China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and securing additional Chinese investment. However, deepening ties with China must not come at the expense of Pakistan’s relationship with the US. Navigating this complex geopolitical landscape requires deft diplomacy and strategic manoeuvring to safeguard Pakistan’s interests without alienating either global power. Despite historical precedent, facilitating significant diplomatic breakthroughs between the US and China appears increasingly difficult, necessitating a cautious approach from the Sharif Government. In the interim, Islamabad’s foreign policy priority remains striking a delicate balance to deepen relations with both powers while avoiding antagonizing either.


As Pakistan navigates the intricacies of the changing global landscape, the need for a proactive and deliberate foreign policy cannot be emphasized. Pakistan should position itself as a proactive and prominent actor in international affairs by focusing on economic stabilization, developing vital relationships, and supporting peace and security. The difficulties ahead are enormous, but with skilled diplomacy and a willingness to collaborate, Pakistan can grab the opportunities of the twenty-first century and forge a brighter future for its people and the globe.

Waleed Sami
Waleed Sami
Waleed Sami is a postgraduate student of Strategic Studies from the Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS), a prestigious school of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad. Waleed has completed his bachelor's from the National Defence University Islamabad (NDU) in International Relations. Waleed is also a research intern at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) and served as a junior researcher at the South Asia Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) and a research intern at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).