Pakistan’s strategic concerns stem from its critical geopolitical location at the crossroads of Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, which makes it an important communication “rendezvous.” Consequently, Pakistan continued facing certain critical challenges and playing specific roles in various political and military-related happening for SEATO, CENTO, the erstwhile USSR invasion of Afghanistan during the 1980s, and later after the 9/11 catastrophe at the dawn of the twenty-first Century. As a “front-line state” in the Global War on Terror, it has suffered countless human-life losses as well as communal and financial crises; transforming Pakistan into a heavily indebted security state. In a nutshell, Pakistan’s weak economy, widespread financial corruption, and poor governance prevent it from fully capitalising on its geostrategic significance despite its growing importance owing to US-China-India strategic conundrum. The distinction between a “statesman” and a “politician” is that a statesman thinks of the next generation, whereas a politician only considers the next election. The art of statesmanship is to anticipate and hasten the inevitable. The Kashmir issue has been Pakistan’s most serious strategic issue since its inception; costing both India and Pakistan dearly. Precisely, any future conventional military conflict between Pakistan and India over Kashmir will achieve nothing but a deadlock/stalemate; aggravating further poverty on both sides of the divide, corresponding to the military potentials of India and Pakistan. To protect its sovereignty and geographic integrity, Pakistan has increased and strengthened its military capabilities, resulting in a security-dominated policy-making mechanism. Pakistan’s weak economy, widespread financial corruption, and poor governance prevent it from fully capitalising on its geostrategic significance despite its growing importance. As of today, there is no viable solution to the Kashmir imbroglio that is acceptable to all stakeholders (Pakistan, India and Kashmiris). Kashmir is also referred to as a “nuclear flashpoint” between Pakistan and India, and it has the potential to become a “cause” for a serious alarm for world peace. There are no indications that either side will make the kinds of concessions on the Kashmir issue required for the long-term normalisation of relations. Is there a solution? The only way out is to improve the dialogue process per se. The imminent strategic concern of Pakistan is the situation on the western borders with Afghanistan. The Taliban government in Afghanistan, cross-border terrorism, and the rise of religious extremism have perpetuated chaos and insecurity. A TTP sanctuary in Afghanistan increasingly finds itself out of options. Negotiations have failed repeatedly because the group is fundamentally opposed to the notion of the Pakistani state and its constitution. The Afghan Government is, unsurprisingly, also not proving “helpful.” At this point, Pakistan’s first preference will be to strike kinetically within its borders, but that will be limited by the movement of these miscreants across the border into Afghanistan. Whether the US and Pakistan are engaged or estranged, their relations have always been fraught with difficulties, and they are mostly at a crossroads. Washington is unsure where Pakistan fits into its Indo-Pacific strategy, and Pakistan is uncertain how much room it has for the US versus its relations with China. Nonetheless, there are numerous reasons for US-Pakistan engagement, but it will not occur in the absence of US conditionality and pressure, some of which Pakistan will have to accommodate for its own sake without jeopardising its vital interests. A weak Pakistan would require both US and China, whereas a strong Pakistan would be sought after by both. Pakistan has a history of playing a constructive role in the Middle East, consistently supporting and coordinating regional efforts to bridge gaps. Given the recent restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan must continue to play this role and contribute to a more stable and peaceful Middle East, while also strengthening its position as a regional player. What is the looming danger for Pakistan as of today? “It is the economy stupid.” The leading glitch that has always plagued the country is the lack of infrastructure, a borrowing economy, and poor healthcare and education systems. There is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, leading to economic instability and marginalisation. Furthermore, Pakistan has seen a brain drain of skilled workers who leave for greener pastures abroad. Economic deprivation is exacerbated by poor governance, widespread financial corruption at all levels, and low per capita productivity in comparison to other middle-income developing countries around the world. Another issue is the country’s elite, who routinely benefit from the status quo of massive financial corruption. The international arena is an unsympathetic sphere. It is a sad truth in international relations that sovereignty is one of the first casualties of a member of the geopolitical bloc. Here, world power makes rules, and middle and small countries, like Pakistan, follow and implement those directions. This is exactly how Pakistan has been moving as it integrates more deeply into the emerging geopolitical order. Conclusively, Pakistan cannot easily escape geopolitics, but the regional outlook portends conflict, not connectivity. Good intentions aside, Pakistan’s pivot toward geo-economics is likely to hit a brick wall. The great playwright, Oscar Wilde, was in debt and as he lay dying at a friend’s house, sipping on champagne, he said, “Alas, I am dying beyond my means.” Pakistan has been living beyond its means for the past seven decades. Let us hope it is not dying. The writer is a retired Pakistan Army officer.