Bajwa-Alice understanding

PAKISTAN and the United States have agreed that bilateral convergences should be leveraged to gain positive momentum rather than remaining hostage to perceptions. The understanding came during meeting of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday where the latter emphasised that Pakistan is committed for peace and stability in the region particularly in Afghanistan through a national approach and it also expects other players in the region to play equally positive part.
The statement augurs well for the future of the bilateral relationship that has been under tremendous strain during the last few months mainly because of aggressive posture of Washington vis-à-vis Pakistan and provocative statements and anti-Pakistan moves by the Trump Administration. Pakistan has all along been calling for cooperative approach but the United States is resorting to pressure tactics like drone strikes inside Pakistan, listing of more and more Pakistani entities as terrorists, arms twisting through Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and withholding of military and economic assistance. According to reports, during visit of Alice Wells, the two countries have also agreed to desist from trading allegations and if implemented in letter and in spirit, this has the potential to help improve bilateral ties. This is because for the last several months, the United States has been resorting to tweet and media diplomacy, vitiating atmosphere for any positive understanding. It is quite obvious that neither Pakistan nor the United States can achieve their national objectives without sincere cooperation and that is why they have no other option but to hammer out differences and build upon convergences. As pointed out by the Army Chief, it would also be a futile exercise to put the entire burden on Pakistan as far as the on-going problems in Afghanistan are concerned. Many countries have stakes but when it comes to practical measures, only Pakistan is pressurized to deliver and that too more than its capacity to do. The best course for resolution of the Afghan conflict is direct talks between the Kabul Government and Taliban and all countries should focus their efforts on bringing the two sides on the negotiating table and help them arrive at a win-win formula for restoration of much-needed peace in the war-torn country.

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