Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, has expressed the hope that the United States, under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden, would adopt a balanced approach towards India and Pakistan. The envoy said he hopes he helps prevent an all-out confrontation that threatens the region.
“We hope that, as in the past, the US would adopt a balanced approach towards both India and Pakistan, an approach that is equitable, that takes into account the national interests of not only India, but also Pakistan,” he said in an wide-ranging interview with Newsweek. “If that is the case, if there is a balanced policy from Washington towards the continent, I think Washington would find Pakistan a willing partner,” Ambassador Akram added. “Obviously, Pakistan would like to have better relations with the United States, and we would be looking to find the areas of convergence where we can work together with the US”, he told Newsweek correspondent Tom O’Conner.
Akram called the US-India strategic partnership a “wrong choice,” but added, “nevertheless that’s the US choice.” Still, he argued that improving ties with Pakistan could prove extremely beneficial for the upcoming administration. “We hope that with this approach of adherence to the principles of human rights and opposition to repression and all that goes with it,” Akram said, “that we will find common ground with the US to help us to defuse the situation in Kashmir, to help us in avoiding the danger of a conflict with our big neighbour, India.
While the Trump administration’s reactions to the human rights abuses in India-administered Kashmir were muted, there are indications that the Biden administration may adopt a more assertive stance, according to the Newsweek report. Biden’s running mate, former Senator Kamala Harris, whose mother was born in India, issued a statement during her campaign that, “We have to remind Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world.”
“We would like to be obviously reassured that such capabilities which are being shared with India, are not going to be used against Pakistan,” he said, “and that they would not compromise Pakistan’s national security interests.—APP