Pakistan-Laos Relations: Challenges and Opportunities

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Majid Ali Noonari


The relations between Pakistan-Laos have not been very warm until the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali in 2004. Pakistan was even unable to develop the relations with Laos due to the Cold War politics. Laos was a communist state and Pakistan being an ally of the West in Cold War era it was not possible for both the states to form the warm relations with each other. At the end of the Cold war Laos changed its policy to improve its economy and diverted to the capitalist economy, but Pakistan didn’t pay any attention to the less developed countries like Laos and as a result they lost an opportunity to dominate the markets of Laos. But after the visit of Mr. Jamali in 2004 Pakistan paid attention to invest in Laos but now they have to face the challenge from the emerging global powers like China, Japan, and India. The most interesting thing is that even today the major trading partner of Laos is Thailand which showed the lesser interest of the countries to the Laos. But still Pakistan has ignored the opportunity to invest in Laos and they are losing time and as a result they would face the same fate as they did in Central Asia where they lost great opportunities at the break up of Soviet Union at the end of the cold War

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