Vol. 9 No. 2 (2021): A Journal of Strategic Studies, Winter 2021

Pakistan’s Geopolitical Challenges and Opportunities in the Neighborhood

Ms. Huma Rehman
Senior Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Muhammad Faisal
Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI)
CISS Insight Journal Winter 2021
Published April 7, 2022
  • Geopolitical,
  • Geo-Economic,
  • Regional Stability,
  • Geo-Strategy,
  • South Asia,
  • Central Asia,
  • West-Asia,
  • Status-Quo
  • ...More
How to Cite
Ms. Huma Rehman, & Muhammad Faisal. (2022). Pakistan’s Geopolitical Challenges and Opportunities in the Neighborhood. CISS Insight Journal, 9(2), P24-46. Retrieved from http://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/208


Pakistan’s geopolitical engagement with the region and the outside world has been driven by the compulsions of its geographical location and its security concerns vis-a-vis India and Afghanistan. In the early decades’ its vulnerability vis-à-vis India and consequent fear directed its geopolitical quest for seeking strategic stability. However, the western world saw Pakistan as a bulwark in the containment of the Soviet Union during the cold war. Post 1979, events in Afghanistan drastically changed the geopolitical environment facing Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan established and deepened its strategic engagement with China1.Historically, both states shared a common Indian threat to their security that caused them to create a strong bond of entente2. This unique relationship, in due course, emerged as a stabiliser in Pakistan’s regional geopolitical challenges as evident in emerging geo-economic partnership between the two countries. Currently, broader geopolitical landscape is a mix of challenges and opportunities for Pakistan. The challenge is to navigate through a complex minefield of geography, and adopting viable strategies to increase Pakistan’s geopolitical space in the neighbourhood and beyond. The article discusses contours of Pakistan’s geopolitical environment, and challenges that the country faced during its engagement with neighbours, and emerging opportunities arising out of intersection of geopolitics and geoeconomics. The article also explores the questions of the correlation between geography, politics and strategic relations of Pakistan with its neighbours (India, Afghanistan and China). Furthermore the article traces the opportunities of cooperation with other states for Pakistan to achieve regional stability, economic development and peaceful coexistence.