Closer engagement with the US



PAKISTAN and the US relationship is a story of many upsand downs and a mixture of love and hate. Whilst Islamabad has always given immense importance to build a strong partnership with Washington on the basis of mutual interest and respect, the other side has not been that much forthcoming rather used us for its own interests. This is the reason that a common Pakistani does not see Washington as a trustworthy friend. This could be addressed by pursuing a positive and productive relationship with Pakistan.

Whilst the new Administration has assumed office in the United States, Pakistan has once again emphasized the need for a closer engagement with Washington for regional stability. At his weekly news briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry stated that the logic for continued engagement and coordination is even more compelling in the context of shared geopolitical and security challenges. There is no denying the fact that it is the collective efforts of both the countries that the Afghan peace process today has reached a very critical and crucial point. Both sides need each other’s support to help the Afghans lead the peace process to a logical conclusion that brings lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Then most importantly, the US should also stop seeing Pakistan from the prism of Afghanistan. Soon after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also expressed the desire to work with the US to build a strong partnership through trade and economic engagement, countering climate change, improving public health and combating corruption. In fact, there is a great potential of economic cooperation between the two countries. It will be a good beginning if they resume the strategic dialogue stalled over the last many years. Five working groups established for promoting cooperation in different sectors need to be reactivated. This as well as promoting people-to-people contacts including parliamentary exchanges will help build trust and take forward the relationship on a positive trajectory.

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