Pak-US ties under Trump

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IT remains to be seen what shape Pakistan-US ties will take under the new US Administration, yet the first ever telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Donald Trump was very positive and pleasant as the US President-elect not only spoke highly of Pakistan and its people but once again offered mediation in resolution of outstanding disputes between Islamabad and New Delhi. Use of lexemes such as ‘Pakistan is a fantastic country of fantastic and intelligent people’ has been taken very well in different circles of Pakistan where anti-American sentiments often prevail because of the super power’s controversial policies especially against the Muslim Ummah.
We hope that pleasant exchange of words between the two leaders will augur well for future relationship, which witnessed many ups and downs in the history. Since its inception, Pakistan has always desired to have very close and strong relationship with the US but these have often been marred with distrust due to clashing security interests. With a personality like Donald Trump at the White House who during his election campaign manifested himself as a very frank and blunt speaker even on some of the very controversial issues, we understand the relationship between Pakistan and the US could be geared towards mutual trust and respect. The very words that Trump used during his telephonic conversation with the PM showed respect the new President accords to other nations and we expect that he will prove it in his actions to allay fears, which were created before his election to the top slot. As regards Pak-US relations, it is very important in regional context especially regarding situation in Afghanistan. Closer collaboration between the two countries is imperative in order to cultivate the seeds of sustainable peace, security in the region and if Trump implements his pre-election programme of complete drawdown from Afghanistan, we believe this will go a long way in ensuring return of peace to the war-torn country. Pakistan also needs to mount a major lobbying effort in Washington as well as engage deeply with the new Administration to build a strong relationship and protect its interests.