100 Onions and 100 Chittars!

A little help for the DCC

By Shahzad Chaudhry

Diplomatic space for any state lies between the ‘maximising advantage’ and ‘minimising damage’ ends of the spectrum. Working between the two ends, diplomats expend diplomatic capital and find an agreeable mean. At times, this space is squeezed because of ill-considered policies, frittered away with inept diplomacy, or lost to a fragmented domestic front. For a combination of these and many more reasons, Pakistan vis-a-vis the US, now sits at the weaker ‘minimising damage’ end having lost most of its diplomatic space. The focus must now lie on saving ourselves from delusionary gains of maximalist strategies.

The only way out of a cul-de-sac is to retrace your steps. On a political front, this invariably means spending and losing some political capital. Both Pakistan and the US are in a cul-de-sac; America with some form and shape of an apology and Pakistan climbing down the high horse of ‘an unqualified apology’, ‘only from the highest quarters’. We missed the boat; we may have to take whatever may now be available to ferry us out.

Read more: The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.



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