Realism from Washington

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AT a time when Pakistan and the United States are in the process of resetting their relations, Washington is dropping hints of realism to build ties on an even and sustainable basis.

In an interview, Derek Chollet, a senior adviser to the US Secretary of State, said the United States doesn’t ask Pakistan to choose between it and China, but rather wants countries “to be able to have a choice”.

However, he claimed Washington is worried that nations entering into relationships with China “are not going to end up well”.

We have been emphasizing in these columns, time and again, that Pakistan stands to gain from its closer partnership with the United States and that there is dire need to sort out differences and forge consensus on ways and means to strengthen ties in diverse fields.

It was because of this that this newspaper staunchly opposed the move of the PTI Government to carry out diplomacy through media.

We also welcome the initiatives taken by the incumbent Government to normalize relations with the United States and the positive response shown by Washington as is evident from the active part being taken by the United States in providing timely relief for the flood affected people.

Pakistan successfully maintained close ties both with the United States and China ever since its independence and, in fact, it used its good offices with Beijing to bring the US and China closer.

Washington perceives Beijing as its global competitor in the realm of both defence and economy and views its own relations and those of other countries in terms of gaining regional and global influence.

However, based on its own experience spanning over seven decades, Pakistanis would not subscribe to the viewpoint that nations entering into relationship with China are not going to end up well.

In fact, financial and economic assistance offered by China without any political or strategic conditions has helped Pakistan a lot in overcoming its chronic problems like energy shortages and limitations of infrastructure.

Lately, China is investing billions of dollars in different sectors of Pakistan’s economy under the historic initiative of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Pakistan has also been urging the United States to make meaningful investment in different areas but the response has not been encouraging as Washington viewed its ties with Pakistan mainly with a narrow lens of security issues and the Afghanistan situation, a policy that needs to be reviewed for the sake of a robust relationship.

 

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