Joe Biden and US ties

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Naveed Aman Khan

VETERAN Joe Biden as American President,would focus on national issues first. There is
little to suggest that Biden’s values on foreign policy have shifted away from multilateralism and engagement on the world stage, in opposition to Donald Trump’s unabashedly isolationist one. He has also promised to repair relationships with US allies, particularly with the NATO alliance, which Trump repeatedly threatened to undermine with funding cuts. The former Vice-President has said China should be held accountable for unfair environment and trade practices, but instead of unilateral tariffs, he has proposed an international coalition with other democracies that China can’t afford to ignore, though he has been vague about what that means.
Biden is going to undo Trump’s policies In his first 100 days in office and he means it. He promises to reverse Trump’s policies that separate parents from their children at the US-Mexican border, rescind limits on the number of applications for asylum and end the ban on travel from several majority-Muslim countries. He also promises to protect the dreamers – people brought illegally to the US as children who were permitted to stay under an Obama-era policy.

Pakistan is an essential partner in any peace process in Afghanistan. America will encourage a regional approach that garners support from neighbours like Pakistan, while also deterring regional actors, from serving as spoilers to the Afghanistan peace process. The Biden Administration sees Pakistan as an essential partner in any peace process in Afghanistan and believes that continuing to build relationships with Pakistan’s military will provide openings for the United States and Pakistan to cooperate on key issues. America understands that Pakistan has taken constructive steps to meet US requests in support of the Afghanistan peace process. Pakistan has also taken steps against anti-Indian groups, such as Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Mohammad, although this progress is incomplete. America will focus on its shared interests which include training future Pakistan military leaders through the use of International Military Education and Training funds. Pakistan will play an important role in any political settlement in Afghanistan. America also needs to work with Pakistan to defeat Al Qaeda and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) and to enhance regional stability.

True that America honors Pakistan as a sovereign country. It is again true that America uses different hidden tools and options to influence Pakistan. The United States of America, acknowledged that many factors in addition to the security assistance suspension may impact Pakistan’s cooperation, including Afghanistan negotiations and the dangerous escalation following the Pulwama terrorist attack. In future America will press Pakistan to prevent its territory from being used as a sanctuary for militants and violent extremist organisations. Continuing to build relationships with Pakistan’s military will provide openings for the United States and Pakistan to cooperate on key issues. Tony Blinken wants to review the US-Taliban peace deal but clarifies that the new administration would also continue the peace process started by the Trump Administration. The US would undertake a review of the peace deal because like former President Donald Trump who negotiated the deal, the new US ruler also wants to end two decades long war in Afghanistan.
America wants to end this so-called forever war and wishes to bring its forces home. American government wants to retain some capacity to deal with any resurgence of terrorism, which is what brought us there in the first place. America needs to look carefully at what has actually been negotiated. United States of America hasn’t been privy to it yet. American President Joe Biden has stated that while he would reduce the number of combat troops in Afghanistan, he would not withdraw US military presence. Last year, during a debate between Democratic presidential candidates, Biden had said, “We can prevent the United States from being the victim of terror coming out of Afghanistan by providing for bases insist the Pakistanis provide bases for us to air-lift from and to move against what we know.” America is willing to consider the rights of Afghan women and girls whose freedoms were severely curtailed during the Taliban regime. Talks between Taliban and the Ashraf Ghani government will not be sustainable without protecting the gains that have been made by women and girls in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.

Biden would also like to continue a close relationship with India. India has been a bipartisan success story of American successive governments. It specifically started towards the end of the Clinton Administration. During the Obama government, cooperation on defence procurement and information sharing were deepened. The Donald Trump government carried that forward including its concept of Indo-Pacific and to make sure we were working with India so that no country in the region, including China, could challenge its sovereignty. The US would also continue to work with India on concerns that the two countries share about terrorism. There are many ways we can deepen that cooperation that successive administrations have put on.
—The writer is book ambassador, columnist, political analyst and author of several books based in Islamabad.

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