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How did Pakistan's foreign policy evolve up to 1991?

Pakistan's foreign policy up to 1991 was primarily shaped by its geopolitical position and its relations with India, the US, and China.

Pakistan's foreign policy has been largely influenced by its geopolitical position, sandwiched between India and Afghanistan, and its historical and political relations with these countries. Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has had a tumultuous relationship with India, primarily due to the unresolved issue of Kashmir. This has led to a series of wars and conflicts, shaping Pakistan's foreign policy towards a security-centric approach.

In the early years, Pakistan sought to balance its relations with major world powers. It joined the US-led military alliances, the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO), in the 1950s. This was a strategic move to gain military and economic aid and to counterbalance India's growing influence in the region. However, the US's inconsistent support, particularly during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars, led to a sense of betrayal in Pakistan and a re-evaluation of its foreign policy.

In the 1960s, Pakistan began to cultivate closer ties with China, which has since become a major ally. The Sino-Pak relationship was cemented by their mutual rivalry with India and has been characterised by extensive cooperation in the military, economic, and diplomatic arenas. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), although initiated much later, is a testament to this enduring partnership.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 marked a significant turning point in Pakistan's foreign policy. Pakistan, with the backing of the US, became a frontline state in the Cold War, providing support to the Afghan Mujahideen. This period saw a resurgence of US-Pakistan relations, with substantial American military and economic aid flowing into Pakistan. However, the end of the Cold War and the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 left Pakistan in a precarious position, leading to a period of uncertainty in its foreign policy.

By 1991, Pakistan's foreign policy had evolved into a complex balancing act, seeking to maintain its sovereignty and security amidst regional tensions and global power dynamics. Its relations with India, the US, and China, along with its role in the Afghan conflict, have been the key determinants of its foreign policy trajectory.

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