Challenges for Aizaz

THE Government, on Wednesday, formally announced appointment of incumbent Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary as country’s ambassador to the United States. He will assume charge of his new assignment next month.
Aizaz has an illustrious career in Foreign Service spanning over 36 years of diplomatic experience. He ably and deftly handled foreign affairs during his stint as Foreign Secretary and the experience so gained would surely be helpful for him in carrying out his new responsibilities. However, it is quite obvious that he has before him the daunting task of maintaining a strong relationship with the US. Ever since its inception, Pakistan has always assigned priority to building a reliable partnership with the United States but relations remain on an uneven keel because of changing requirements of time and ever-changing US priorities and goals in this part of the globe. Chaudhary is going to Washington at a time when new administration of President Donald Trump is settling down but has so far not made public its South Asia policy or how it wants to go about Pakistan. Election rhetoric notwithstanding, it is reassuring that so far there is no negative signal from Washington and instead telephonic conversation between PM Nawaz Sharif and President Trump as well as contact between Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and US Defence Secretary James Mattis conveyed positive signals. Pakistan has its own strength and pluses that would hopefully induce the US to maintain mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan but we must not forget that some anti-Pakistan lobbies are active in US and they always remain on a toe to get the country labelled as terrorist state. The United States is also expecting Pakistan to do more in the realm of war against terror whereas the country has too much on its plate and US is wary of providing assistance for the purpose. Similarly, some elements are also creating scare about Pakistan’s nuclear capability and raise bogey of its assets falling into hands of terrorists. Under these circumstances, Aizaz will have to tread path very carefully and manage things in a manner so as to effectively safeguard vital interests of the country.

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