In recent days, the words ‘grey-list’ and ‘Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’ grabbed the attention of Pakistan’s entire state machinery and emerged as crucial discussion points in media and policy circles. However, at the same time, far from this corner of the globe, in the Far East region of Asia, diplomatic magicians were exorcising the ghost of a decades’ long impasse between the US and North Korea. Apparently, the two simultaneously sprung events had nothing to do with each other, however, American diplomats were a common link. In one region, US diplomats were endeavouring to impose economic sanctions on Pakistan, its non-NATO ally in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). While in the other region, US diplomats were persistently striving to bring the North Koreans to the negotiation table after a long streak of coercive diplomacy. In the Far East, different shades of the US diplomacy worked and Pyongyang yielded. Interestingly, for political pundits and respective policy makers, both events were not considered surprising developments. The ‘grey-listing’ of Pakistan, was much anticipated months before it finally happened. Everyone was aware that the US has hundreds of options to deal, curb, and diffuse Islamabad’s recklessly defiant foreign policy, which gave no attention to Pakistan’s economic fragility and international isolation. Unfortunately, Islamabad’s myopic approach and indecisive diplomatic disposition took the imminent threat for grant as usual, and beat the old path of blaming India for all of its problems. For many years, our defence and foreign ministries’ correspondences, talk show anchors and respected analysts have enumerated the Pakistani casualties and infrastructures losses. None of them have ever gone beyond these crammed figures in qualitative explanation accompanied by the required empirical data of reimbursement for President Trump’s $33 billion. However, a studied examination of foreign policy which can point out dark areas in intellectual terms have largely been absent in the aforementioned forums. Regrettably, on several occasions, we as a nation have failed to project ourselves as a single entity with shared and unanimous national interests. Internally, we are entangled ethnically, polarised politically and ambivalent religiously The lack of precise referent documents and even basic logic makes the severe loopholes in top level policy discussions in this country clearly visible. This negligence and unserious attitude sometimes, sadly, confirm the former CIA Director Leon Panetta’s notorious allegation against Pakistan, that it is either incompetent or involved. This was reiterated at the conclusion of the Abbottabad Commission, when Justice Javed Iqbal remarked that culpable negligence and incompetence could be found at almost all levels of government. Yet this country’s talking heads continue to demonstrate the same self-imposed ignorance. The alleged preconditions — financial support to terrorist organisations — for the ‘grey-list’ have been, unfortunately, the subject of fruitless controversies, debates and discussions for many years in Pakistan. Tracing back the path, all the ambivalent and controversial developments like the Dawn leaks, have repeatedly exposed the concerns of former defence minister Khawaja Asif as empty. The mixed response towards the Hafiz Saeed-founded Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) charity, and its associated organisation, the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) had been relentlessly indicating and heralding the internal divide and external hit. As a result of this stubborn attitude, Pakistan will end up on the FATF grey-list in June, and not very far from the black-list. Regrettably, on several occasions, we as a nation have failed to project ourselves as a single entity with shared and unanimous national interests. Internally, we are entangled ethnically, polarised politically and ambivalent religiously. Always preferring to live in spurious grandiosity, mountebank our scanty attainments, and remain impervious to the incoming peril. Unluckily, our diplomatic community has gained ostrich-like instincts. What does an ostrich do when it senses danger? Put its head in the sand and wait for the danger to pass. Apart from the diplomatic realm, Pakistan’s defence sector also needs an academic framework to formulate essential policy blueprints and doctrines for the armed forces. The headlines of sundry newspapers, peak hours of talk shows and official websites always highlight our weapons’ procurement, capabilities and successful operations, but the military academic wing is hardly ever discussed. Of course, there is no doubt that showcasing military hardware is indispensable for deterring the enemy and flexing military muscles. However, the narrative such projections generate is far removed from logic. In the defence arena, geographical location largely shapes defence priorities. Pakistan has an important geo-strategic location. Nevertheless; plenty of resources, vital geo-strategic location and playing with economic numbers does not make nation states powerful. Power comes when these elements translate into the desired outcome. Pakistan has the sixth largest army in the world in terms of active military personnel, but without defence blue prints in terms of defence doctrines, naval doctrine, and absence of sporadic defence white papers — this number means nothing. Such slip-ups can leave our defence policy as nothing more but mere responsive measures to surrounding developments. The Korean peninsula was able to host the Pyeong Chang 2018 Olympics very successfully. Olympic diplomacy in turn, paved the way for diplomatic interaction between high-ranking South Korean government delegations and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Best wishes were exchanged, sanctified pledges for writing a new history of national reunification were taken and consequently, diplomatic cards ensured the most unexpected news after the Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting by the end of this May. Until a couple of months ago, both states were inching closer to nuclear war, lethal US striker groups were mobilised and in the backdrop of the anticipated war, Japan conducted civilian evacuation drills. However, both sides’ diplomats were able to convert this hostility into an omen for peace and understanding through steady efforts. The writer is an analyst Power Politics, Security Studies & Foreign Policies of Global Powers Published in Daily Times, March 20th 2018.