The underlying principles that guide the societies and states are unifying, although there is an arbitrary dividing line between internal affairs and international diplomacy. The crux is that whenever fairness and justice is denied, it leads to problems both internally for societies, as well as for states in the dispensation of international diplomacy.Just look at our next-door neighbour Afghanistan that has been a living hell for all those who live there for the past 40 years and unfortunately will be so for many more years, if not decades to come. The US and the West used Afghanistan in its proxy cold war to bring down the USSR, and its price is being paid through their lives of Afghans, perpetuated by endemic instability and violence in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that the present Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani is a stooge of the US and the West. So would be the future governments in Afghanistan as it is after all a client state of the West. Principles of justice and fairness were trumped by the US and the West to pursue its imperialist agenda. The present efforts to find peace in Afghanistan remain almost elusive and it will take very long time for Afghanistan to come out of shadows of war. Ultimately, Afghanistan needs to learn to stand on its own feet, and should strive to become an independent and sovereign state for any sustainable peace to last in that decades old war-afflicted state.Another neighbour and our time-tested friend China is the rising global power, and an economic powerhouse worth its while. In the recent decades, it has brought down poverty amongst its population massively. Yet, its policies are allegedly oppressive for its population. For example, the Muslim Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region are reportedly being denied ‘justice’ and ‘fairness’. According to media reports, there could be up to one million Uighur Muslims in internment camps in China under the guise of ‘re-education’ programmes. ‘Oppression’ against its own people by the rising global power will have adverse impact in the future.Iran, yet another neighbour has been recently accused by Pakistan for fermenting terrorism in Balochistan. While, Iran’s hand is the recent unfortunate terrorist attack yet needs to be fully investigated. There is little doubt that despite achieving progress on social indicators within its country, Iran plays a role in perpetuating terrorist groups in the Middle East. It uses terrorism as a tool of its foreign policy. Other than Saudi Arabia’s deadly military campaign in Yemen duly supported by the US and the West, Iran is equally to be blamed for the terrible plight of people in Yemen who are on the brink of famine and thousands of precious lives have been lost so far. Iran is denying justice and fairness through its support of terrorism, and its needs to be stopped, if it wants to re-integrate in the world as a responsible member state.Many entrenched international disputes be it Palestine or Kashmir can be solved, if all parties follow the principles of fairness and justiceThere is rise in Islamophobia and racism in all over the West, including countries like New Zealand and Australia. It is well illustrated by the recent unfortunate terrorist attack against Muslims in New Zealand. Australia acts as the US and the West’s “attack dog” against China, due to its geographical proximity. Racism in the West has already made its way to some of the policies of the states in Western countries including Australia. Fairness and justice is denied when there is perpetuation of racism. The Western world not only needs to abandon its imperialist agenda and wars around the world externally, it also needs to fight racism inside its societies as well.Countries in the Southeast Asia have achieved tremendous economic growth due to policies of state-led capitalism and poverty has massively decreased there just like China. Yet, there is varying degrees of oppression and discrimination against their population and minorities. For example, discrimination against the Chinese has been part of the state policy in Malaysia. Other East Asian countries are no different. Again principles of fairness and justice are trampled upon and it would come to haunt those countries. Turkey has been equally oppressive for its people under Erdogan and will face similar music, if oppressive policies are not reversed.Many entrenched international disputes be it Palestine or Kashmir can be solved, if all parties follow the principles of fairness and justice. In Pakistan, we have seen recent reshuffle in the cabinet of the PTI government. Some technocrats have replaced the elected members of the ruling party. However, it is clear that politics of patronage is as much part of the functioning of PTI, as any other political party and its claim to be an agent of change has not been validated so far. Even seemingly incompetent ministers like Ghulam Sarwar Khan are still being accommodated in the cabinet by following the dictates of realpolitik. PTI government and powers supporting it seem to be depriving the mainstream political parties fairness by selectively launching an accountability witch-hunt. It has led to the kind of economic uncertainly that it became a big enough push to reshuffle the cabinet. While devaluation of Pakistani rupees and a high spike in the interest rates might be good for some sectors of the economy, such as the exporters, amongst others. PTI government needs to deal with the political parties in opposition with fairness and justice; otherwise it will spill further trouble for its government.The bottom line is that whenever you deny justice and fairness, its leads to as much problems for the oppressor, as for the oppressed. It is equally true in international affairs as well as in internal politics of the societies and states around the world.The writer is an Islamabad-based social scientist.