Foreign relations of Pakistan

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Islamic Republic of Pakistan maintains a large diplomatic network across the world. Pakistan is the second largest Muslim-majority country in terms of population (after Indonesia[1]) and is only Muslim majority nation to have tested nuclear weapons.

Pakistan's economy is integrated into the world with strong trade ties to the EU and economic alliances and agreements with many Asian nations.

Pakistan has a strategically important geo-political location, has Afghanistan, China, India and Iran in immediate neighborhood, is at the corridor of world major maritime oil supply lines, is located between gas & oil rich middle east and world's population centres (East & South Asia). Pakistan has been maintaining a tensed relationship with neighbouring Republic of India and close relationships with People's Republic of China and Arab nations. Pakistan is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is named by the US as a major non-NATO ally in the war against terrorism and one of founding members of IMCTC.

International recognition of Pakistan[edit]

After Pakistan gained its independence in August 1947, Iran was the first country to recognize its sovereign status. The United States was the first non-Muslim country to recognize Pakistan and France was the first country where Pakistan's flag was raised.

Recognition of Pakistan in 1947:
Country Date of recognition
1  Iran 14 August 1947
2  Turkey 14 August 1947
3  Saudi Arabia 14 August 1947
4 United Kingdom Commonwealth 14 August 1947
5  Jordan 15 August 1947
6  Syria 15 August 1947
7  Palestine 15 August 1947
8  United States 15 August 1947
9  Canada 15 August 1947
10  Mexico 16 August 1947
11  United Kingdom 16 August 1947
12  European Union 16 August 1947
13   Vatican City 16 August 1947
14  Soviet Union 16 August 1947
15  Japan 17 August 1947
16  Malaysia 17 August 1947
17  China 17 August 1947
18  Korea 17 August 1947
19  Australia 18 August 1947
20  New Zealand 18 August 1947
21  Brunei 18 August 1947
22  United Nations 19 August 1947
23 United Nations World Bank 19 August 1947
24 United States IMF 19 August 1947
25  Norway 19 August 1947
26  Mongolia 19 August 1947
27  Iceland 19 August 1947
28   Switzerland 20 August 1947
29  Burma 20 August 1947
30  Brazil 20 August 1947
31  Argentina 20 August 1947
32  Thailand 21 August 1947
33  Vietnam 21 August 1947
34  Singapore 21 August 1947
35  Chile 21 August 1947
36  Kuwait 21 August 1947
37  Egypt 22 August 1947
38  Laos 22 August 1947
39  Kenya 22 August 1947
40  Monaco 22 August 1947
41  Tunisia 23 August 1947
42  Cuba 23 August 1947
43  Ecuador 23 August 1947
44  Tonga 24 August 1947
45  Seychelles 24 August 1947
46  Nepal 25 August 1947
47  Cameroon 25 August 1947
48  Ethiopia 25 August 1947
49  Djibouti 25 August 1947
50  Philippines 26 August 1947
51  Cambodia 26 August 1947
52  Liechtenstein 26 August 1947

Foreign policy of Pakistan[edit]

Pakistan's Foreign Policy seeks to protect, promote and advance Pakistan's national interests in the comity of nations”

M A Jinnah's Vision On 15 August 1947, outlining the foreign policy of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam observed:

“Our objective should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with world at large. We have no aggressive designs against any one. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.”

The foreign policy of Pakistan sets out in the way it interacts with foreign nations and to determine its standard of interactions for its organizations, corporations and individual citizens.[2][3] Backed by the semi-agricultural and semi-industrialized economy, Pakistan is the 42nd largest (nominal GDP) and 23rd largest (purchasing) economic power and 6th largest military in the world, with a defence budget of US$11.4 billion (2018)[4] 4.0% of its GDP (2018).[5] The Foreign Minister of Pakistan is the official charged with state-to-state diplomacy, although the Prime minister maintains an ultimate authority over foreign policy.[2] The state foreign policy includes defining the national interest, as well as the economic interest and strategies chosen both to safeguard that and to achieve its policy goals.[2] Following the general election held on May 2013, Tariq Fatimi and NSA Sartaj Aziz were designated as advisers to the Prime Minister on foreign and strategic policies. After the dismissal of Nawaz Sharif's government in July 2017, Khawaja Muhammad Asif held the portfolio of foreign minister under the premiership of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.[6][7] After the victory of Imran Khan in the Pakistan General Elections 2018, Shah Mehmood Qureshi was named the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Historical overview[edit]

Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan's foreign policy has encompassed difficult relations with the neighbouring Soviet Union (USSR) who maintained a close military and ideological interaction with the neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan (in the West) and India (in East).[8] During most of 1947–1991, the USSR support was given to Republic of India, over which it has fought three wars on Kashmir conflict.[8] During the 1960s, Pakistan's relations with and neighbouring Afghanistan have also been extremely difficult due to the latter's contest over the Durand Line[citation needed]. The foreign relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia and China remain extremely important and based on the extensive cooperation in national security and economical interests in the Persian Gulf and wide-ranging bilateral relations with the United States and other Western countries. With the growing influence of USSR in the region, Pakistan cemented close security relations with China in Asia and Poland in Europe during most of the Cold War. While Pakistan had "on-off relations" with the United States, Pakistan assisted President Nixon reapproach with China and other East Asian countries.

In 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of the state of Pakistan, clearly described the principles and objectives of Pakistan's foreign policy in a broadcast message, which is featured prominently in a quotation on the homepage of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: "The foundation of our foreign policy is friendship with all nations across the globe."[9]

Pakistan-China relations[edit]

China has played a significant role in the development, economy and security of Pakistan, with relationship beginning in 1950 when Pakistan was among the first countries to enter into official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (on Taiwan) and recognize the People's Republic of China (PRC) regime on mainland China. Since then, both countries have placed considerable importance on the maintenance of an extremely close and supportive special relationship[10][11][12] and the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. The PRC has provided economic, military, and technical assistance to Pakistan, and each country considers the other a close strategic ally.[13][14]

Pakistan–United States relations[edit]

The United States has played an important role in the young history of Pakistan, being one of the first countries to recognize their independence on 14 August 1947.[15] The relationship between the two countries went through varying levels of friendliness, but Pakistan consistently found themselves on the United States side of issues faced during the Cold War.[16] Pakistan served as a geostrategic position for United States military bases during the Cold War since it bordered the Soviet Union and China.[citation needed] These positive relations would fall apart following successful cooperation in fighting the Soviet Union's influence in Central Asia and the subsequent fall of the Soviet Union. ln reaction to Pakistan's new nuclear capacity, the United States would pass the Pressler Amendment approving sanctions against Pakistan,[17] but relations would restrengthen following 9/11 with Pakistan's warm response following the tragedy. Aid would be given to Pakistan for the first time again in 2002, and the 2000s saw an extension of this friendly relationship.

As the War on Terror continued to linger, the United States and Pakistan would disagree on strategies while also accusing each other of various things. This dynamic would reach a head following a few incidents highlighted by the operation to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.[18] While these incidents wore down the trust between the two nations, the two would continue to share a healthy relationship. Although the two countries do not view each other favorably in polls, the two governments share an important relationship featuring multiple types of aid to Pakistan, important military cooperation and collaboration, and a strategic ally in Central Asia for the United States[18] The United States and Pakistan's relationship persists of promoting trade and regional economic cooperation, this type of relationship is beneficial for both countries and gives incentive for continuing friendly relations.[19] U.S. also has concerns regarding Pakistan include regional and global terrorism; Afghan stability; democratization and human rights protection; the ongoing Kashmir problem and Pakistan-India tensions; and economic development.[20] Recently US stopped military aid to Pakistan, which was about US$2 billion per year.[21]

Muslim world[edit]

After Independence, Pakistan vigorously pursued bilateral relations with other Muslim countries[22] and made a wholehearted bid for leadership of the Muslim world, or at least for leadership in achieving its unity.[23] The Ali brothers had sought to project Pakistan as the natural leader of the Islamic world, in large part due to its large manpower and military strength.[24] A top-ranking Muslim League leader, Khaliquzzaman, declared that Pakistan would bring together all Muslim countries into Islamistan – a pan-Islamic entity.[25] Such developments (alongside Pakistan's creation) did not get American approval and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee voiced international opinion at the time by stating that he wished that India and Pakistan would re-unite.[26] Since most of the Arab world was undergoing a nationalist awakening at the time, there was little attraction to Pakistan's Pan-Islamic aspirations.[27] Some of the Arab countries saw the 'Islamistan' project as a Pakistani attempt to dominate other Muslim states.[28]

Pakistan vigorously championed the right of self-determination for Muslims around the world. Pakistan's efforts for the independence movements of Indonesia, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Eritrea were significant and initially led to close ties between these countries and Pakistan.[29] However, Pakistan also masterminded an attack on the Afghan city of Jalalabad during the Afghan Civil War to establish an Islamic government there. Pakistan had wished to foment an 'Islamic Revolution' which would transcend national borders covering Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.[30]

On the other hand, Pakistan's relations with Iran have been strained at times due to sectarian tensions.[31] Iran and Saudi Arabia used Pakistan as a battleground for their proxy sectarian war and by the 1990s, Pakistan's support for the Sunni Taliban organisation in Afghanistan became a problem for Shia Iran which opposed a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.[32] Tensions between Iran and Pakistan intensified in 1998, when Iran accused Pakistan of war crimes as Pakistani warplanes bombarded Afghanistan's last Shia stronghold in support of the Taliban.[33][34]

Major alliances[edit]

In 1949 after gaining independence from the United Kingdom, Pakistan still had close ties with the country. The Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan also paid a historical and friendly state visit to the United States, and held meetings with President Harry Truman and the American military officials for the purpose of the military aid[35] in 1951. Ideologically, Prime Minister Ali Khan was opposed to communism; and his government was struggling with issues concerning the matters of uplifting the national economy and protecting interests of national security.[35] In 1954–56, the United States and Pakistan signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement which saw the dispatching of the Military Assistance Advisory Group to provide military training to the Pakistan Armed Forces in 1955–56.[35]

In 1955, Pakistan joined the CENTO and the SEATO alliances.[35] Also, in 1956, when Pakistan declared itself a republic, it continued as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1971, Pakistan withdrew itself from the two alliances in a vision of exercising an independent foreign policy. 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 neighbours 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 Organization (ECO) in 1985. In 1974, Pakistan became a critical entity in the militarization of the OIC and has historically maintained friendly relations with all the Arab and Muslim countries under the banner of OIC. Pakistan rejoined the Commonwealth in 1989. In 2004, Pakistan became a Major non-NATO ally of the United States.

Pakistan was a member of the Commonwealth from 1947 to 1956 under the name 'Dominion of Pakistan'. From 1956 to 1972, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was a Commonwealth republic, when it was withdrawn in protest at the Commonwealth's support of East Pakistan's secession and Bangladesh's independence. In 1989, Pakistan regained its status as a Commonwealth republic, which remains the case, despite Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations between 1999 and 2008.[36][37]

Major dissensions[edit]

Since 1947, Pakistan's relations have been difficult with neighbour India over the regional issues. India and Pakistan have fought three conventional wars throughout the 20th century over the issue of Kashmir.[38] There have been attempts to unite the countries but since 1940, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his Muslim League had demanded an independent Pakistan, whose Muslims would have their own government rather than remaining subordinate to India's Hindu majority.[39] There are many sources of tension between the two countries but the issues over terrorism, size disparities and three geostrategic issues: Kashmir, water, and the Siachen Glacier, are the major ones resulting the attenuated volume of trade and trust deficit.[40] The continuing dispute over the status of Kashmir inflames opinions in both nations and makes friendly relations difficult. In the 1960s, the problems over the Durand Line escalated with Afghanistan which led to open hostilities in the 1970s. Pakistan is also a member of the Coffee Club to oppose Indian membership in the United Nations Security Council.

Relations by country[edit]


Country Formal relations began Notes

There are friendly foreign relations between Algeria and Pakistan.[citation needed] Pakistan supported the cause of Algeria's independence from France.

 Botswana Botswana has diplomatic relations with Pakistan which is covered by the Botswana Embassy in Beijing, China[41] and an embassy located in Islamabad within the Republic of Yemen.[42] Pakistan's embassy in Botswana is located in Sana'a, Yemen[42]

Trade between the 2 nations in 2001/02 accounted for $20 million[42] Mehru Khan of Pakistan and Botswana was crowned Miss NRI Global 2005 winner at an international pageant.[43][44]

 Central African Republic

Pakistan Maintains 2 Infantry Battalions and a Squadron of Helicopters under the UN peacekeeping Banner in CAR[citation needed]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo

Pakistan embassy in Zimbabwe is also accredited to Congo. Pakistan maintains an honorary consulate in Kinshasa.[45] Pakistan also has up to 3500 troops in Congo under United Nations Operation in Congo[46]


Pakistan and Egypt (Misr), both being Muslim countries, share cordial relations.[citation needed] Both are also members of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), as well as "the next eleven" and "D8". After the foundation of Pakistan, it has established diplomatic and trade relations with Egypt.

 Eritrea Eritrea maintains an embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.[47]

Relations between Pakistan and Kenya were first historically established in the 1960s, when Pakistan expressed its support for Kenya in getting independence from British rule. Ever since from that time, relations between the two nations have been warm, with both countries having had discussed previously in the Pakistan-Kenya Joint Ministerial Commission session which was hosted in Nairobi in 2004, about boosting bilateral trade and economic relations.[48]


Pakistan and Lesotho maintain honorary consulates in each other's country.


The relations between the two nations have always been deep and abiding, ever since the start.[citation needed] The two countries also share common religious and cultural links, especially the fact that both the countries are Islamic states.[citation needed] Pakistan's 2nd largest cricket arena, Gaddafi Stadium is named after Muammar Gaddafi, the de facto ruler of Libya for 42 years till 2011.


Pakistan maintains an honorary consulate in Madagascar.[49]

 Malawi Pakistan maintains an honorary consulate in Malawi. The Pakistani embassy in Zimbabwe is also accredited to Malawi.[50]

Pakistan has a High Commission in Port Louis and Mauritius has a High Commission in Islamabad. The two countries are progressing the finalisation of a Free Trade Agreement.[51][52]


Pakistan has an embassy in Rabat while Morocco also has its embassy in Islamabad. Both the countries have co-operated significantly since the past and continue to widely expand their relations, in the past Pakistan has said that it does not recognise Western Sahara and that its status is disputed and remains to be decided by United Nations resolutions, but at the same time it gave the Moroccan point of view that it is an internal matter.[citation needed]

 Mozambique Pakistan maintain cordinal relations with Mozambique.[53] In 1976, on the eve of independence of Mozambique, technical support of Pakistani pilots, engineers and maintenance persons were despatched to Mozambique for making their helicopters airworthy and training of their pilots/ technicians.[54] Pakistan also gave nationality to many Muslim Indians in Mozambique after 1961 Indian annexation of Goa.[55]

Pakistan has an embassy in Niamey,[56] although Niger does not maintain a permanent embassy in Islamabad.[57]


Pakistan has a High Commission in Abuja and Nigeria has a High Commission in Islamabad, as well as a consulate-general in Karachi. The two states have maintained a close relationship, a relationship which is described by the Nigerian Defence Minister as "friendly" and like a "family tie"[58]

 Sao Tome and Principe Pakistan has had friendly political relations with the island country of São Tomé and Príncipe.[citation needed] Traditionally, the Pakistan Ambassador in Portugal is accredited to the islands. Mr. Fradique de Menezes, the President of São Tomé and Príncipe specifically requested for Pakistan's assistance in promoting income generating skills in agriculture and textiles as well as in poverty alleviation programmes.[citation needed] Mr. Fradique de Menezes, expressed his profound desire to enhance political, economic and cultural cooperation with Pakistan.[59]

Pakistan recognizes the Federal Government of Somalia as the official national government of Somalia.[60] It maintains strong relations with the Somalian federal authorities, who also have an embassy in Islamabad.[61]

 South Africa

Pakistan maintains a high commission in Cape Town, and South Africa maintains a high commission in Islamabad.[62][63] South Africa is also home to more than 2,500 Pakistanis.

 South Sudan Pakistan recognised South Sudan after South Sudan was added as a candidate in the United Nations General Assembly.[64] However the boundary dispute with Kenya is not supportive by Pakistan as it favours Nairobi administration of its integrity and sovereignty.[citation needed]

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 and warm relations for decades.[citation needed] Sudan declared its support for Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani Wars, and also due to the fact that Pakistan stood by the Sudanese people over its integrity and sovereignty, especially on its boundary disputes with both Egypt and South Sudan.[citation needed]

 Tanzania Pakistan maintains a High Commission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.[65]

Pakistan supported Tunisia on the issue of its complete control on Bizerte and declared it an integral part of Tunisia.[citation needed] Former Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba had always supported Pakistan's point of view.[citation needed]


Pakistan maintains an honorary consulate in Kampala. Pakistan also provide scholarships to Ugandan students under its technical assistance programme.[66]

 Zambia Zambia maintains a General Honorary Consulate in Islamabad, whereas Pakistan's embassy in Zimbabwe is also accredited to Zambia.[50] In February 2008 an 11-member Pakistan Trade Delegation visited Lusaka for exploring bilateral trade cooperation.

Pakistan is represented in Zimbabwe by an embassy in Harare. The Pakistani government has pledged to always "stand by Zimbabwe in its challenging times and continue to render assistance in every way possible in an effort to cement the already cordial relations between the two countries.[67] Pakistan has also helped in structuring Zimbabwe's Armed Forces, The First Head of Zimbabwe Air Force was also a Pakistan Air Force Officer Air Marshal Azim Daudpoto who served as a Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe from July 1983 to January 1986."[67][67][68]


Country Formal relations began Notes

A memorandum of Understanding with the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Argentina and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences was signed.[69] In pursuit of its policy of establishing scientific cooperation with Argentina, the Pakistan has been actively engaged in signing Memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with various organizations.[citation needed]


The relation between Brazil and Pakistan is friendly and there is a lot of cooperation between in the two countries in military field.[citation needed]


Pakistan is represented through its High Commission in Ottawa and consulates in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Canada is represented through its High Commission in Islamabad and consulate in Karachi. The value of the bilateral trade relationship between Pakistan and Canada was close to C$694 million (approximately US$701 million) in 2007.[71] There is also extensive people to people links between Canada and Pakistan with an estimated 300,000 Pakistanis living in Canada.[72]


The relations between the two countries strengthened after Cuba provided humanitarian assistance to the victims of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.[citation needed] Both the nations continue to strengthen the bilateral relations especially in the fields of higher education, agriculture, industry and science and technology and have also held talks for military cooperation.[citation needed]


Guyana along with Suriname is one of the only 2 member state of OIC in the Americas. Pakistan maintains an honorary consulate in Guyana.[73] The Muslims of Guyana provided moral support for the creation of the state of Pakistan. Many of the Muslims from British Guyana even took Pakistani citizenship after the creation of Pakistan in 1947 and migrated to Pakistan.[74]


Pakistan ambassador to USA is accredited as Pakistan's non-resident High Commissioner to Jamaica.[75]

 Mexico 19 January 1955

Pakistan maintains an embassy in Mexico City,[76] and Mexico is accredited to Pakistan through its embassy in Tehran.[77] Both countries are also working on Mechanism of Bilateral Consultations on Issues of Mutual Interest for Mexico and Pakistan.[78]

 Paraguay 23 October 1967

Relations were established on 23 October 1967.[79] Pakistan maintains an embassy in Argentina which is accredited to Paraguay and a consulate in Asuncion.[80] Paraguay maintains an embassy in Egypt accredited to Pakistan and an honorary consulate in Islamabad.[81] Government ministers met in 2005 to explore potential trade opportunities.[82] Bilateral trade in 2010 totaled US$2.4 million per year and growing yearly.[83] Pakistan exports carpets, surgical instruments to Paraguay, whereas Paraguay exports pharmaceuticals [84]


Pakistan and Suriname both maintain friendly and cooperative relations.[85] Many of Suriname Hindustani Muslim speak Urdu, and maintain cultural link in Pakistan. Surinamese Islamic Association maintains its umberalla headquarters in Islamabad, Pakistan[86]

 Trinidad and Tobago

Pakistan maintain a consulate general in North Trinidad.[87] Trinidad is also home to a sizeable number of South Asian Muslim who draw links with Pakistan. During the 2010 Pakistan floods, Trinidad Congress of the People party donated US$33,000 worth of aid to Pakistan flood victims.[88]

Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg United States of America 20 October 1947

Pakistan has an honorary consulate in Montevideo.[89] As of 2014 the Pakistani ambassador to Argentina, Imtiaz Ahmad was accredited to Uruguay.[90][91] In 2006 a commercial agreement was celebrated between Pakistan and Mercosur (a trade bloc of which Uruguay is part).[92] There is a Pakistan-Uruguay Chamber of Commerce.[93]


Country Formal relations began Notes

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

 Bahrain 1971

Islamabad and Manama enjoy close co-operations between the two in many fields of brotherhood.[citation needed] Joint initiatives between Bahraini and Pakistani governments have started to further bilateral trades that reached $250 million in 2007.[citation needed] Pakistan Army also maintains an Infantry Battalion and a Squadron of Tanks in Bahrain[citation needed]

 Bangladesh 18 January 1976

Relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh are influenced by the fact that Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan until 1971, when it achieved independence after the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. As part of Shimla Agreement, India sought to make sure that Pakistan would take steps to recognize Bangladesh. Pakistan established full diplomatic relations with Bangladesh on 18 January 1976, and relations improved in the following decades.


Both countries are member of SAARC. Trade and bilateral relationship between the two countries can be largely regarded as being insignificant, and the diplomatic relationship as being largely symbolic.


Diplomatic relationship between Pakistan and Brunei are very warm and friendly, this is primarily because both are Muslim countries and member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.[citation needed] Pakistan maintains a high commission in Brunei,[94] and Brunei has an embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. To further foster ties between the 2 countries, Brunei-Pakistan Friendship Association (BPFA) was created in 2008.[95]


Pakistan has an embassy in Yangon,[96] and Burma has an embassy in Islamabad.[97] In January 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari paid a state visit to Yangon, Burma where he met Aung San Suu Kyi and conferred her the "Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Award for Democracy" for her long struggle for democracy. Zardari's children were also present in the ceremony.[98]


Pakistan has an embassy in Phnom Penh although Cambodia does not have an embassy in Pakistan.

 China 1951[99]

Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) were established on 21 May 1951, shortly after the retreat of the Republic Of China in 1949.[100] While initially ambivalent towards the idea of a Communist country on its borders, Pakistan hoped that the PRC would serve as a counterweight to Indian influence. India had recognised the PRC a year before, and Indian Prime Minister Nehru also hoped for closer relations between India and the PRC. However, with escalating border tensions leading to the 1962 Sino-Indian war, the PRC and Pakistan formed an alliance. One year after the PRCs border war with India, Pakistan ceded the Trans-Karakoram Tract to the PRC in order to convince the PRC Authorities to be friendly towards Pakistan.


Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues, and are defined by the violent partition of British India in 1947, the Kashmir dispute and the numerous military conflicts fought between the two nations. Consequently, even though the two South Asian nations share historic, cultural, geographic, and economic links, their relationship has been plagued by hostility and suspicion.

India and Pakistan have fought in numerous armed conflicts since their independence. There are three major wars that have taken place between the two states, namely in 1947, 1965 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In addition to this was the unofficial Kargil War and some border skirmishes.

Both India and Pakistan are member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.

 Indonesia 1949[101]

Indonesia has its embassy in Islamabad[102] and a consulate in Karachi and Pakistan has its embassy in Jakarta[103] and a consulate in Medan.[104] Bilateral trade between the two countries is US$800 million but they hope to increase this to US$2 billion.[105] Both nations are members of the Developing 8 and Next Eleven countries.

 Iran 14 August 1947
 Israel No formal diplomatic relations

Tokyo and Islamabad have had healthy relations with each other since the foundation of their diplomacy in 1952. Japan has been part of funding the country with machines to access ground water, as well as aid for improving its sewer and drainage systems.[106][107] Other major projects funded by the Japanese government include the Indus Highway Project, a number of power projects in various provinces of Pakistan, Rural Roads Construction Project and the Children Hospital PIMS Islamabad Project.[108] Presently the Kohat Tunnel Project and the Ghazi Brotha Dam Project are being completed with the help of the Japanese private and government contractors.[109][110]


There are close relations between Jordan and Pakistan.[citation needed] Princess Sarvath wife of Prince Hassan is originally a Pakistani. At the international level Pakistan and Jordan have similar views such as the Israel/Palestine issue.[citation needed]


Relations between the two countries began when Pakistan recognized Kazakhstan on 20 December 1991. On 24 February 1992, diplomatic and consular relations were established during an official visit by Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev to Pakistan.[111] Kazakhstan is an emerging market for Pakistani goods.[112]

 North Korea
 South Korea November 1983[113]

After the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 Pakistani army engineers were involved in a programme of mine clearance in the country.[114] Kuwait was also the first country to send aid to isolated mountain villages in Kashmir after the quake of 2005,[115] also offering the largest amount of aid in the aftermath of the quake, US$100 million.[116]


Pakistan extended diplomatic recognition to the Kyrgyz Republic on 20 December 1991. A Protocol for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan was signed on 10 May 1992.[citation needed]


Lebanon and Pakistan have good relations.[citation needed] Pakistan has also been a steadfast supporter of Lebanon particularly when it was invaded by Israel.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]


Pakistan has its High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has its High Commission in Islamabad. Pakistan has brotherly relations with Malaysia. Both are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Commonwealth of Nations. There is a trade and cultural pact between the two countries, under which the import and export of various goods is done on fairly large scale.[citation needed] Both countries enjoy close relations and links of mutual friendship and the cooperation has further strengthened.[citation needed]


The Maldives and Pakistan are culturally very close in sharing a Sunni majority. Islamabad supports the Maldivian position in the territorial dispute over the southern Indian colony of Minicoy Island in the Lakshadweep, whose population is Muslim by faith.[citation needed] Both the Maldives and Pakistan are member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.


Pakistan and Mongolia maintain cordinal diplomatic relationship.[117]

   Nepal 1960[118]

Despite an extensive 1982 trade agreement, the volume of bilateral trade remains comparatively small at US$4.8 million.[119] Pakistan's total exports to Nepal are worth US$1.631 million while Nepal's exports to Pakistan tally US$3.166 million.[119] Both countries have recently[when?] stepped up efforts to promote bilateral trade, especially in textiles, oilseeds, extraction of oil and tourism; Pakistan also offered a US$5 million line of credit to Nepal.[119][120][121] Nepal and Pakistan are signatories to the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and members of the South Asian Economic Union.


The relationship between Muscat and Islamabad is warm, because it is the nearest Arab country to Pakistan and the fact that some 30% of Omani's are of Balochi origin from Pakistan's Balochistan province having settled Oman over a hundred years ago.[citation needed] In 1958 Gwadar was part of Oman but was transferred to Pakistan in that year.[citation needed]

 Palestinian Authority

Pakistan fully supports the proposal of the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Due to Pakistan's pro-Palestinian stance, bilateral relations between Pakistan and Israel have continuously wavered over the last few years. Pakistan has also declined to recognise the state of Israel until the "liberation of Palestine" will take place.[122]

 Philippines Sept/1949
 Russia 1948[123]

Relations between these two countries have been strained in the past, because of Pakistan's close ties to America and its support for the Afghan rebels during the invasion by the USSR.[citation needed]

 Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has also provided extensive religious and educational aid to Pakistan.[citation needed] Saudi Arabia remains a major destination for immigration amongst Pakistanis, the number of whom living in Saudi Arabia stands between 900,000 and 1 million.[citation needed]

Saudi Arabia is the largest source of petroleum for Pakistan.[124] It also supplies extensive financial aid to Pakistan and remittance from Pakistani migrants to Saudi Arabia is also a major source of foreign currency.[125]

 Singapore 17 August 1966[126]
 Sri Lanka 1949

Sri Lanka's ties with Pakistan have always been good, ever since Pakistan established its small mission in then-Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) in circa 1948–1949.[127] Since then, these relations have gradually developed into very close and cordial ties. Pakistan has been supplying military equipment to the Sri Lanka Armed Forces since 1999.[127] Pakistan has pledged since 2009 to assist in military training and intelligence to form a joint terror fighting force for their two countries.[127] There is a Pakistani embassy located in Sri Lanka and a Sri Lankan embassy situated in Pakistan.[128][129]


Both countries were on the silk route through which civilizational exchanges took place for centuries, Islamic missionaries that introduced Islam after 711 AD were from Syria.[citation needed] During the Yom Kippur War of 1973 (usually referred to as the Ramadan war in Pakistan) several Pakistani pilots assisted the Syrian air force.[130] In 2005 Syria and Pakistan agreed on mutual cooperation in the fields of science and technology.[131]


The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, established diplomatic relationship with the Republic of Tajikistan in 1992, but cooperation between these two countries started from 1991.[citation needed] Geographically Tajikistan is the nearest Central Asian State to Pakistan – fourteen kilometres between two countries. Many Tajiks have immigrated to Pakistan, notably in the city of Ishkoman where they have integrated into the local population.[citation needed]

 Thailand 10/Oct/1951[132] Establishing cordial relationships started in 1951, and since has grown into a close diplomacy as trade value between the two nations has grown over US$1 billion. Pakistani universities account for 600 students from Thailand. Thailand enjoyed in 2013 over seventy five thousand tourists from Pakistan. Overall, relations are warm and social and economic exchanges are well developed and continuing to grow.[133]
 Turkmenistan 10/May/1992

Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize Turkmenistan as an independent country in December 1991.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The two countries have signed 21 Agreements and Memoranda of understanding in the fields of oil and gas, transport, energy, trade, science and culture.[citation needed]

 United Arab Emirates

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


Relations between the two states were established when the republic of Uzbekistan became independent following the collapse of the USSR, the relations between the two countries were initially strained by the situation in Afghanistan which both countries border as they supported different factions Afghan factions.[134]

However relations improved after the fall of the Taliban, both countries seeking to improve relations for the sake of trade, Pakistan wishing to gain access to Central Asian markets and landlocked Uzbekistan to access ports on the Indian Ocean.[citation needed]

 Vietnam 1972


Country Formal relations began Notes

Pakistan's diplomatic relations with Albania are very cordial given that Albania is a Muslim majority country[citation needed], and the only European country with OIC membership. Albania has consistently supported Pakistan for the Kashmir cause.[66] In Dec 2006, Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Anton Gurakqui visited Pakistan to hold bilateral consultation with Pakistani political leadership. Pakistan also offers training facilities to young Albanian bureaucrats in the field of banking, finance, management and diplomacy.[135]

 Andorra The Pakistani embassy in Spain is accredited to Andorra.[136]
  • Diplomatic relations have not been established as Pakistan is the only country in the world which does not recognize the Republic of Armenia.
 Austria 1956

Relations between the two countries are generally friendly.[citation needed] The diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Austria were established in 1956 when Pakistan formally recognized Austria.[137]

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Both nations share close relations on the grounds of religion and politics.[citation needed] Pakistan was a staunch supporter of Bosnia during the civil war.[citation needed] Pakistan sent in UN Peacekeeping forces to the former Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars.[citation needed] Pakistan and Bosnia have a free trade agreement.[citation needed]


Belarus' Minsk Tractor Works has played a key role in supplying tractor to Pakistan[138] and establishing the tractor assembly plant in Pakistan.[139] Belarus and Pakistan have also signed agreements on trade-economic cooperation and investments protection.[140] Pakistan ambassador to Russia is accredited as a non-residential ambassador to Belarus; however, Belarus maintains an embassy in Islamabad since 2014. In May 2007, Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar made an official visit to Belarus and meet with high-ranking government officials of Belarus.[141]


Pakistan maintains an honorary consulate in Zagreb.[142]

 Czech Republic
 Estonia 20 September 1993[143]

Pakistan and France have high levels of diplomatic meetings and are in good terms with one another.[citation needed] However, these good relations haven't been around very long.[citation needed] Trade between Pakistan and France is increasing and France has donated large funds to help Pakistan with its economic problems.[citation needed]

 Georgia 12 May 1994 Pakistan ambassador to Azerbaijan is accredited to be the non-residential ambassador to Georgia.[144]

Germany and Pakistan enjoy closely cordial relations.[citation needed] Germany has taken large measures to aid the South Asian country in its economic and governmental hardship.[citation needed] Commercial trade between Berlin and Islamabad has also been very essential in recent years seeing as Germany is Pakistan's fourth largest trade partner.[citation needed] Also, Germany is home to 35,081 Pakistani immigrants.[citation needed] Overall, the two nations have almost always had a friendly bond.[citation needed]


In modern times, Pakistan's first embassy in Athens was opened in 1975. Greece established an embassy in Islamabad in 1987. There are around 32,500 Pakistani people living and working in Greece.[citation needed]

  Holy See
 Hungary 26 November 1965

Since 1970, Hungary has an embassy in Islamabad and an honorary consulate in Karachi.[145] Pakistan has an embassy in Budapest[146]


Pakistan maintain cordinal diplomatic relations with Iceland.[147]


Ireland is represented in Pakistan through its embassy in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and an honorary consulate in Karachi. Pakistan has an embassy in Dublin. Pakistanis continue to support the idea of unification of Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland which remains part of the United Kingdom after the Republic of Ireland left the Commonwealth of Nations.[citation needed]

 Italy Both nations have established respective embassies in Pakistan and Italy.[148][149] Italy has offered assistance in Pakistan's private sector in extending credit lines to finance technologies in machinery for manufacturing.[150] Additionally, Italy has given Pakistan the opportunity to be financed the equivalent of US$100 million to advance over fifty development projects in the nation, such as assisting acid attack victims in Punjab.[151] Italy has shown interest in expanding energy and pharmaceutical businesses to the expansive market in Pakistan. There is even an Italian government desire for the implementation of an Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Pakistani economic sphere.[152]
 Latvia Latvia maintains an honorary consul in Karachi.[151] Whereas the Pakistani ambassador to Sweden is accredited as a non-residential ambassador to Latvia.[153] There is also a growing number of Pakistanis (mostly university students) living in Riga.[154]
 Liechtenstein The Pakistani ambassador to Switzerland is accredited as a non-residential ambassador to Liechtenstein. Pakistan diplomatic relations with Liechtenstein is important, despite the small size of Liechtenstein, as Liechtenstein is member of European Free Trade Association, with which Pakistan is seeking Free Trade Agreement.[155]
 Lithuania Pakistan maintains friendly diplomatic relations with Lithuania.[156]
 Luxembourg Pakistan maintains cordial diplomatic relations with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[157] Pakistan also maintains an honorary consulate in Luxembourg.[158]
 Moldova The Pakistani ambassador to Romania is accredited as a non-residential ambassador to Moldova.[159]
 Monaco Pakistan maintains cordial diplomatic relations with Monaco.[160]
 Montenegro Jun/2006 Pakistan formally recognized the Republic of Montenegro as a sovereign and independent state, following the request of its government in Jun 2006.[161] Both countries maintain cordinal diplomatic relationship.[citation needed]

Norway and Pakistan have strengthened ties.[citation needed] Norway has an embassy in Islamabad and an honorary consulate in Lahore, whereas Pakistan has an embassy in Oslo.

 Portugal Relationships between Portugal and Pakistan have turned cordial since 2015. The two nations recognize a potential growth in trade and social exchanges. In order to start economic relations in the right direction, investment policy and opportunities for Portuguese companies are now present.[162]

Pakistan has an embassy in Bucharest and an honorary consulate in Iaşi.[163] Romania has an embassy in Islamabad and an honorary consulate in Lahore.[164]

 San Marino 12 April 2006

Pakistan established diplomatic relations with San Marino on 12 April 2006. The Pakistani ambassador to Italy is accredited as a non-residential ambassador to San Marino.[165]


Since July 2001, Pakistan has an embassy in Belgrade.[166] Serbia has now closed its embassy in Pakistan after 2001 due to financial or reciprocal reasons because Pakistan's role in the desire for Sanjak's merger with their brethren of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is now represented in Pakistan through its embassy in Beijing (China).[167] However, there is a bone of contention between the two, because of the latter's close relations with, India.[168]


The Pakistani ambassador to Austria is accredited be the non-residential ambassador to Slovakia. Relations between Pakistan and the Slovak Republic are cordial and friendly.[citation needed] The two countries have agreements on cultural cooperation and visa abolition (for diplomatic/official passport holders).[citation needed] Some well known Slovak companies like Matador and Mediprogress are active in Pakistan through their agents.[169]


Pakistan–Turkey relations have been traditionally strong.[citation needed] Both nations maintain extensive cultural, commercial, strategic and military cooperation.[citation needed] Both Turkey and Pakistan are Muslim-majority states and share extensive cultural and geopolitical links.[citation needed]

 Ukraine 1992

Pakistan recognized Ukraine's independence in 1991. Pakistan has an embassy in Kiev.[170] Ukraine has an embassy in Islamabad.[171] Ukraine and Pakistan have been cooperating with each other in educational sector as well as cultural exchanges.[citation needed] Pakistan and Ukraine are also heavily cooperating with each other in aerospace engineering, aerospace technologies, bio-medical sciences and science and technology.[citation needed]

 United Kingdom

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Pakistan maintains diplomatic relations with all Commonwealth countries even though it does not have its own High Commission in each capital. The U.K. also has the biggest Pakistani community outside of Pakistan.[citation needed]


Country Formal relations began Notes

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf visited Australia in 2005[172] and the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, also having extended a visit to Pakistan in 2005 as well, following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake which had immensely targeted the northern areas of Pakistan. He also announced 500 new scholarships for students in Pakistan to study in Australia.[173]


While Pakistan and Fiji maintain formal diplomatic relationship, they do not have diplomatic mission in each other's country. Pakistan designates her high commissioner to Australia as a non-residential high commissioner to Fiji.[174] Many of Fiji's large Indian Muslim population maintain family links with Pakistan[175]

 New Zealand

Pakistan has a High Commission located in Wellington whilst New Zealand has a consulate-general in Karachi. New Zealand was party to the Commonwealth Heads of Government decision to readmit Pakistan to the Councils of the Commonwealth after the restoration of civilian rule in May 2008.


While Pakistan and Tonga maintain diplomatic relationship, they do not have diplomatic mission in each other's country. Pakistan exports to Tonga in 2007 was T$11,655 (approximately US$7,000).[176] Pakistan also has bilateral visa-abolition scheme with Tonga, for all passport types of both the countries.[177]

International organizations[edit]

Organization Membership Notes
 Arab League Non-member

Pakistan is not a member nor observer of the Arab League but the two entities share a strong relationship. Many of the Arab League nations send soldiers to train in Pakistan's prestigious military academies, and Pakistan frequently is in contact and collaboration with many of the Arab League nations with Pakistani pilots having flown in the two Arab-Israeli Wars.[178] Pakistan has also lobbied for greater representation of the Arab League within the United Nation Security Council.[179]

ASEAN Member Pakistan is a member of ASEAN, but frequently serves as a bridge for the organization to communicate with Asian countries further in the west, with bilateral agreements between ASEAN and Pakistan.[180] While links could still be stronger between Pakistan and the nations that compose ASEAN, both sides have expressed interest in furthering that relationship.[181]
 European Union Non-member Pakistan and the EU share a strong economic bond that has been emphasized by both parties while sharing similar foreign policies. The two are engaged in serious trade, and frequently work together to enhance each other's economic capability. There have been multiple summits and strategic dialogues between Pakistan and the EU to continue to push the relationship.
IMF 1950 Pakistan is a full member of IMF, and has received monetary assistance from IMF multiple times, each time resulting in a successful bailout for Pakistan.[182][183] IMF also maintains a Resident Representative Office in Pakistan[184]
Economic Cooperation Organization 1985 Pakistan, Turkey, Iran are the founded ECO in 1985 with plans at economic and political cooperation in the region. Through the work of this organization, Iran has free trade agreements with Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan forthcoming shortly.[185][186]
 NATO Non-member Pakistan is a major non-NATO ally, a special designation from the US for certain non-NATO states, earning the status shortly into the war on terrorism by George W. Bush.[187] This designation comes with certain benefits highlighted by special access to particular military technology or collaboration. The two have cooperated and continue to cooperate on projects like eradicating terrorism in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and offer each other logistic and military support.[188]
 OIC 1969 Pakistan has used the Organization for Islamic Cooperation in the past to strengthen alliances and settle disputes or disagreements. The 2nd summit of the OIC was in Pakistan, during a time in which Pakistan still did not recognize Bangladesh. Under pressure from other nations, Pakistan would invite a delegation from Bangladesh and here at this summit Pakistan would come to recognize the nation.[189] Pakistan also uses the OIC to push their position on the controversial region of Kashmir.[190]
SAARC 1985 Pakistan is one of the founding members of SAARC, an organization focused on the economic activities of South Asia.[191] In 2016, a SAARC summit in Pakistan was canceled following boycotts by India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, causing some to worry about the future of the organization.[192]
SCO 2015 Pakistan and India signed on to be full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2015, with the process for instatement ending in 2017. The organization shares many interests with Pakistan, and the new membership has been supported within Pakistan and the members of the organization.[193]
 United Nations 1947

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Fair, C. Christine. Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War. (Oxford UP, 2014).
  • Hussain, Nazir. "Pak-Russia Relations: Lost Opportunities and Future Options." Journal of Political Studies (2012). 19#1 pp 79–89 online
  • Jabeen, Mussarat,and Muhammad Saleem Mazhar. "Security Game: SEATO and CENTO SEATO and CENTO As Instrument of Economic and Military Assistance to Encircle Pakistan" Pakistan Economic and Social Review 49#1 (2011), pp. 109–132 online
  • Pande, Aparna. Explaining Pakistan’s foreign policy: escaping India (Routledge, 2011).
  • Sattar, Abdul. Pakistan's Foreign Policy, 1947-2012: A Concise History (3rd ed. Oxford UP, 2013). online 2nd 2009 edition
  • Siddiqi, Shibil. "Afghanistan-Pakistan relations: History and geopolitics in a regional and international context." Final Report (Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation) 45 (2008). online
  • Singh, Besakh. "Pakistan and Russia Relationship: Changing Dynamics in the Post-Cold War Era." (MA thesis, Central University of Punjab. 2016); bibliography pp 89=98. online[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]