Political and socio-economic discussions in Pakistan’s popular discourse are often inward-looking and generally focus on the country itself, or on its relationships to its immediate neighbors (Afghanistan, India, and China). We suggest here that Pakistan is part of a global system, as well. It is influenced not just by its direct neighbors, but also by: international events (war in Ukraine is just one example); by global economic factors (e.g. oil prices, changing terms of trade, or the danger of a global recession); and by various other global governance arrangements (e.g. Financial Action Taskforce and its demands from Pakistan). At the same time, Pakistan is not insulated from the global systemic changes. The global pandemic has overwhelmed the policymakers with possibilities of future epidemics also not being ruled out. In the past migration of people, both incoming and outgoing, has impacted the social fabric.
Likewise, the country is suffering from global warming and the resulting patterns of weather and precipitation. Pakistan is also a player at the international arena and is expected to play a responsible and proactive role at various global governance forums. The speech of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan at the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2019 has indicated regarding this responsibility and highlighted Pakistan’s role in the Cold War, or the engagement of Pakistani soldiers abroad, either in the United Nations peace keeping framework, or bilaterally. While many Pakistanis are aware of some of Pakistan’s international roles and dependencies, and of Pakistan’s image abroad, there is limited discussion about the country’s global role – what it should be? Who are the internal and external actors that shape Pakistan’s role, engagement, influence, and perception abroad? What role does the state and citizens play in deciding Pakistan’s global role? These are some of the questions that our chapter authors aimed to touch upon in this book. A conscious effort has been made to reach out to Pakistanis living and working abroad. Chapters have been invited from such resource persons who are not only Pakistanis but also study Pakistan from abroad and often through various lens external to Pakistan.