The US at fault
PARTICULARLY in the minds of the people belonging to the third world countries, it is a sheer misconception that the relationship among different countries is of a romantic nature.
They mix up that relationship with the relationship of a beloved and the lover; purely based on passions and emotions.
Practically all relationship on international level, among different countries, revolves around only and only interests and benefits.
The nature of relationship could change in flickering of an eye with the shifting interests and benefits.
If someone thinks that Israel and the US could never be at loggerheads, he is at fault. We see that in 1945 the United States detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August.
These two incidents of bombing killed thousands of innocent people; most of them were the civilians.
Commenting upon the situation after the bombing, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ICAN said in a report, “The two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people and their effects are still being felt today.
By the end of 1945, the bombing had killed an estimated 140,000 people in Hiroshima, and a further 74,000 in Nagasaki.
In the years that followed, many of the survivors would face leukaemia, cancer or other terrible side effects from the radiation.”
Ignoring all that brutality and forgetting all that loss of thousands of innocent civilians of Japan, today the United States and Japan have succeeded in establishing very firm and very active political, economic and military relationships.
Reports indicate that the US government officials generally consider Japan to be one of US’ closest allies and partners. Astonishingly people of Japan have also the same positive feeling for the US.
The Pew Research Centre conducted a survey in 2015 which said that 68% of Americans believe that the US can trust Japan, compared to 75% of Japanese who believe that Japan can trust the United States.
Another Pew survey conducted in 2018 pointed out that 67% of people in Japan had a favourable view of the United States, 75% had a favourable view of the American people, and 24% had confidence in the US President, and in a Pew survey conducted in 2019, Japanese respondents considered the US their closest ally, with 63% of people in Japan picking the US, while other countries were picked by 1% or less.
The basic reason behind this illogical love-story is nothing but mutual economic interest. The only element bringing the US and Japan closer and closer is nothing but economic activity.
In 2020, goods and services trade between Japan and US totalled an estimated $252.2 billion including exports worth $102.1 billion and imports worth $150.1 billion.
Japan is considered the 4th largest goods trading partner of the US. Japan’s top export categories include mineral fuels, machinery, optical and medical instruments and electrical machinery.
On the other hand US total exports of agricultural products to Japan totalled $11.8 billion in 2020; leading domestic export categories included beef and beef products, corn, pork and pork products, soybeans and wheat.
In short, this game of import and export turned hostility and enmity between the two countries into partnership and cordiality.
Same is the case with Pakistan regarding relationship with the US.Assessment reports indicate that the two countries have ever been enjoying a very close relationship revolving around mutual politico-economic interest.
Reports say that bilateral trade between Pakistan and the US reached an all-time high in 2018, with two-way trade worth $6.8 billion.
Pakistan’s exports to the US were $3.8 billion whereas imports amounted to $2.9 billion.In 2018, 78.0 percent of Pakistan’s exports to the US comprised textiles and textile articles of which 73.0 percent were of apparel and other made up textiles.
As far as the military relations are concerned, one can very easily observe the strength, consistency and firmness of the United States’ military relations with Pakistan.
Different analysts on Pak-US relations have been referring to Pakistan as “America’s most allied ally in Asia”.
It has also been said that the strong military-relations between Pakistan and US ‘reflect shared interests in security and stability in South Asia, Central Asia as well as in regions covering Eastern Europe’.
It is also an important point to be remembered that from 1948 to 2016, the United States has provided nearly US$78.3 billion to Pakistan in grants annually in the form of military aid.
Experts are of the opinion that till now the United States continues to be one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Pakistan and is Pakistan’s largest export market.
Moreover, whenever Pakistan needs any financial support from the international organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the USA provides all required favours to Pakistan.
The US Department of State says in a Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet, “We work closely with Pakistan on a wide array of issues ranging from Afghanistan stabilization efforts to counter-terrorism, to energy, to trade and investment.
In terms of counter-terrorism and internal security, Pakistan has taken some action against externally-focused militant groups and UN-designated terrorist organizations operating from its territory in accordance with its National Action Plan against terrorism.
The United States has been one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Pakistan and remains Pakistan’s largest export market.? Trade relations between the United States and Pakistan continue to grow, and the U.S.
government supports this relationship by funding reverse trade delegations, business conferences, technical assistance and business outreach.”
In short, the US has ever been very helpful and supportive to Pakistan, remaining within its limits but giving preference to the national interests of its people.
We can say that all over the world the US does help out the countries in trouble but never ignores its own national interest.
The US is like an intelligent investor who never remains ignorant to the factors which could be threatening rather harmful to his investment; certainly sometimes he has to interfere in the matters simply to save his investment.
That is the reason the US has to keep a vigilant eye on all events and incidents and all developments, social as well as political, in the countries where it provides economic support.
Be it Japan or Pakistan or Afghanistan, the countries depending upon financial aids and looking for economic supports from the organizations like the World Bank and the IMF could never be in a position of making their own decisions and materializing their own philosophies.
Without getting economic stability all kinds of liberty, independence, freedom and impartiality remain a dream.
—The writer is Principal of a Government College and senior columnist, based in Multan.