fifty years ago October 7, 1969 Archives

From the Archives (October 7, 1969): Pakistan’s ‘musical chairs’ diplomacy


In his address to the U.N. General Assembly last week, the leader of the Pakistan delegation claimed with considerable pride that his country was perhaps the only one at present with the unique distinction of having friendly relations with the United States, the Soviet Union and China, without prejudice to its basic national interest. No other country, whether Communist or non-Communist, aligned or non-aligned, has been able to score this hat-trick in present-day international diplomacy. And with all its lofty ideals and passionate faith in peaceful co-existence, India could not perform such a balancing act even during the heyday of Panch Sheel. With elemental commonsense and outright opportunism, Pakistan has been able to play one Big Power against another to extract the maximum benefit to itself by taking full advantage of the changing power patterns on the international scene. Both Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan have practised the art of double-think, double-talk and double-dealing with consummate skill – and with a calculated display of recklessness to bamboozle their friends and foes alike. For the time being, at any rate, this “musical chairs” diplomacy seems to be paying quite good dividends to Pakistan with Washington, Moscow and Peking openly competing for its friendship.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:52:01 AM |

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