Final session of Two-Day National Conference on ‘Irritants in Pakistan-US Relations: Way Forward’ organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute was held on Wednesday.
In the session on ‘Approaches to Overcome Trust Deficit’ chaired by Ambassador Shahid M.G. Kiani, ýDr Tughra Yamin Associate Dean, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad delivered a presentation on‘ Afghanistan Crisis and Pakistan-US Disagreements on Operational Aspects of Countering Terrorism’. Dr Yamin shared that both countries realize the importance of the other, but each has its own priorities guiding the bilateral relationship based on the prevailing international and regional environment. ‘Depending on the circumstances each has its own expectations of the other; and these expectations usually don’t match leading to a trust deficit and souring of relations,’ he explained. Dr Yamin said that relations between the US and Pakistan have deteriorated and been ‘downgraded’ since US President Donald Trump’s administration began taking a hard line on Afghanistan in 2017.
In his presentation on ‘Pakistan-US Relations under Trump Administration: Continuity or Change’, Professor Dr Rasul Baksh Rais from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore discussed the Afghan endgame and Pakistan-US relations and contended that wars cannot be won decisively and it is, thus, important for transfer of security responsibility to the Afghans, focusing on building Afghan forces and continuing negotiations with the Taliban.