Pakistan’s Grand Strategy: The Poverty of Imagination

Wali Aslam, Bradley A. Thayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)
56 Downloads (Pure)


This article is concerned with a significant grand strategic choice that Pakistan faces concerning its relations with China. The relationship between Pakistan and the United States has deteriorated since the US Special Forces found and killed Osama Bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in May 2011. Instead, Pakistan has been recalibrating its grand strategy enabling it to get closer to China. The country has received large Chinese investment to start several infrastructural projects in Pakistan as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. We argue that Pakistan is making a grave strategic mistake. Its partnership with China is unnatural and it will count against its core interests in the future. We suggest that Pakistan should reorient its grand strategy in order to bring it closer to Western democracies. Doing so will ensure greater security, economic development and sovereign independence for Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalContemporary South Asia
Issue number3
Early online date17 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • BRI
  • CPEC
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • Quad
  • grand strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Pakistan’s Grand Strategy: The Poverty of Imagination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this