Global interdependence warrants multilateral cooperation. A high moral ground and a policy framework predicated on principles remain two guiding features that must inform Pakistan’s foreign policy worldview going forward. But on Pakistan’s 70th anniversary, both the neighbourhood and region at large stand at a perilous crossroad, their all-pervasiveness restlessness a sign of the times. The spirit before the mind registers the in quietude of the turning of an era in global affairs. Such is the state of the world today, with a new world order waiting to be born. The intellectual constructs of the previous century and the post-Cold War years are fast becoming redundant. Technology, demographics and the fading away of that generation of baby boomers that shaped our world are just some aspects of impending international change. A generational shift is certainly in the offing, and changes in the global order are of a civilizational scale. Old foreign policy recipes sadly will not work, and for Pakistan challenges abound. To Pakistan’s west, Afghanistan is broken and torn by civil strife. India boils with hate and intolerance. Iran still sanctioned for no good reason. In the Middle East, the notion of the Islamic Ummah has been rent asunder by the latest diplomatic standoff in the Gulf. Western liberalism stands in disarray. Closer to home multilateralism has been rendered ineffective, the clearest sign of which is SAARC, perhaps beyond resuscitation. Political turmoil at home adds to the difficulties of maintaining policy coherence in these uncertain times. Yet, despite the doom and gloom, Pakistan in the emerging scenario remains well placed to make its indispensable contribution to regional peace, stability and development. Political turmoil at home adds to the difficulties of maintaining policy coherence in these uncertain times. Yet, despite the doom and gloom, Pakistan in the emerging scenario remains well placed to make its indispensable contribution to regional peace, stability and development For Islamabad, China is a safe anchor that will hold through the gathering storm. Along with China, Russia, Turkey and Iran, Pakistan can reverse the tide of spreading anarchy in this part if the world. Despite its self-inflicted policy disasters, Pakistan could help shore up the United States from its difficulties in our region. A new vision of progress, prosperity and stability must become the starting point for working of the policies at home and abroad. The Foreign Office will once again be tested. Our leadership and the nation must continue to repose their trust in the sincerity, competence and resilience of the men and women of the Foreign Service of Pakistan. And there should be reason to remain confident: Pakistan has a long list of distinguished luminaries that have conscientiously steered Pakistan’s foreign policy through decades of turbulence in our region and the world; a veritable stamp of distinction that made Pakistan proud runs all through the founding years of the Pakistan Foreign Service. The Foreign Service some 400 officers, who certainly outshine many in the public service domain with capabilities and resolve to deliver Pakistan’s national interests, on all counts, anywhere in the world. Going forward, the foreign policy establishment must continue to lead policy formulation. From emphasis mainly on security, we need to work the concept of comprehensive aggregation of national strength. This requires factoring in the immense economic opportunities that regional cooperation offers. The Foreign Office must also continue to play its leading role in inter-agency and inter-ministerial coordination. Pakistan should also enable the foreign policy establishment unimpeded access to requisite resources commensurate with its enhanced responsibilities and move the markers from the usual to performance audit. (This essay was first published by Jinnah Institute’s Independence Day special feature) The writer is a former Foreign Secretary and former High Commissioner to New Delhi Published in Daily Times, August 23rd 2017.