M Nadeem Bhatti
DEMOCRATIC Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States, along with its main historic rival, the Republican Party. Uncovering its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it one of the world’s oldest active political parties. The vision of the Party is to create a society in which an informed and active citizenry is sovereign and makes policy decisions based on will of majority. Moreover, they believe in building democracy through activism, education and collaboration as their mission. As the motto of the Party, officials say “Our party is strong as it is built on advancing our democratic platform and forging positive solutions that include everyone. As Democrats, we feel that every person in this nation should be treated with dignity and respect. We believe health care is a right for all and that we should be rewarding the hard work of middle-class families. We believe that our schools and streets should be free from gun violence and that a woman’s decision about her own body is hers to make.”
Recently, the elections were held for the presidential seat and Mr. Joe Biden defeated the incumbent President Donald Trump after a tough competition. He secured a total of 290 votes against his rival’s 232. Having defeated incumbent Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election, he will be inaugurated as the 46th president on January 20, 2021. He would be the oldest president in the history of the US at his inauguration aged at 78. Mr. Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942 and moved to Delaware as a child. Being a politician, he has maintained close political ties to both states. Served in public life for around a half-century, he is highlighting his government experience, seeking to cast himself as a steady and seasoned hand in a dangerous and uncertain world. Considering Obama as his idol and emphasizing on to follow his legacy, he served as vice President in the Obama Administration during the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and health-care remained a top priority for him. As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, he is looking for ways to help voters picture him as commander in chief, formulating recommendations rooted in advice from health-care and economics experts. In a television ad, he expressed that health care is personal to him. As it’s an issue he often discusses in the context of his family’s tragedies; lost his first wife (in 1972) and an infant daughter (in 2015) in a car accident & his son Beau Biden died of brain cancer. He is also looking forward to uniting the nation in difficult times.
Congratulations have been pouring in for Joe Biden from around the world after he claimed victory in the 2020 US presidential election. World leaders are closely watching how Biden plans to reshape US foreign policy. The leaders of the countries: Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan,Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, &the United Kingdom, congratulated him for winning the elections. The question is; what will be the global effects of Joe Biden being the President of the superpower; the USA? Will he do changes in the foreign policy or make them even harsh with the mentioned countries in which some are very close to the US and some are considered as rivals or opponents by the US? What his policies will be towards NATO as Donald Trump had fraught relations and suggested to withdraw from NATO? The time will decide what will happen to the world after January 2021. But hopes are high everywhere and he is being considered as a symbol of positivity throughout the world.
The world is preparing for a transition and many hope that he will restore institutional stability in the conduct of US foreign policy. Like other countries, Pakistan too has to hold up itself for Biden’s 4 years. The matter of concern is; whether Biden’s presidency will be any different for Pakistan than Trump’s presidency or, more relevantly, Barack Obama’s 2 terms, when Biden was VP. The ups and downs in Pakistan’s relations with the US have always depended on when the US needed Pakistan and how Pakistan has managed then to take the edge of the US needs to advance its interests. The recent 2 decades were no different and maybe the coming tenure won’t be, either. Strategic partnerships depend on strategic issues and interests: geography, shared values, common threat perceptions and entrepreneurial innovation. But, not many of these factors have been in play in shaping US-Pakistan relations. The string that has kept the US and Pakistan connected for many decades, for good or bad, is Afghanistan. The north-west neighbour of Pakistan was close to Biden’s heart when he was VP, but he had a different approach. He took an active interest in developments in Afghanistan by all accounts.
According to some sources, he tried to convince Obama that a major surge would mean “we’re locked into Vietnam” as he was against the surge in Afghanistan. During Trump’s tenure, he got the Taliban to the table for peace talks and that went in favor of the world including Pakistan. But for now, the cord between the US and Pakistan is intact. The question is if the talks remain stalled and violence continues what Biden will do? There is only one US interest that binds both the states and that can be a blessing or suffering, depending on how the situation goes. The whole Muslim Ummah is also curious as everybody is looking towards him to introduce better policies for the Muslims. In many of his speeches and videos, he has shown a soft corner and sympathy with those who were oppressed. The matter of concern is; he is going to be the head of superpower. If he wants, he can bring peace to the rest of the world especially in Kashmir, Burma and Palestine. It is the need of the hour that the US should reconsider its foreign policies towards Muslim countries and end racism inside and outside its country so that this world could be a better place to live in.
—The writer is a senior social analyst & Chairman Pakistan Columnist Council.