Islamabad, Oct 2 (IANS) Pakistan needs an effective foreign policy and it is time for the country to re-brand itself, a leading newspaper said on Sunday.
Amid rising tensions with India, the Daily Times said the moment had come for Pakistan to introspect and determine how it can effectively present itself to the international community.
“When it comes to the global stage, perceptions matter tremendously, and unfortunately for Pakistan, its image as a country plagued with terrorism and intolerance has made most of its appeals to the international community fall on deaf ears,” it said in an editorial.
“It is for this reason that the refusal of five SAARC members to not attend the conference in Islamabad has sent the wrong signal to the international community.
“In light of this, Pakistan needs an effective foreign policy, and for that to happen it needs a full time foreign minister who is able to counter Indian lobbying in the international community and present Pakistan’s case to the world.
“Pakistan is in urgent need of re-branding itself, and this cannot take place unless the government takes the matter of making and articulating foreign policy seriously.”
In the same breath, the daily said that India’s plan to ‘isolate’ Pakistan appears to be nothing more than a mere declaration aimed for Indian public consumption.
“The fact that India through its diplomatic muscle was able to persuade four other SAARC members, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, to decline participation speaks more about India’s regional influence…”
But it added that Pakistan was far from getting isolated, with growing ties with China, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia.