An expert’s point of view on a current event.

In recent weeks, senior Pakistani officials, including the country’s powerful army chief, have signaled or outright said that, from now on, their country’s foreign policy will emphasize geoeconomics. This is a welcome rhetorical shift. Decades of bartering Pakistan’s geostrategic value—including as a “front-line state” in the Cold War and war on terror—has contributed to the loss of countless lives, stifled human development, and turned Pakistan into a heavily indebted security state.

Geoeconomics would flip that script. Definitions of the term vary, but Pakistani officialdom uses it to connote something akin to an end to war. In a public address last month, Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa offered a “geo-economic vision” that centers regional integration and the collective…

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