Will Biden’s election reflect any major shift in Pak-US ties?

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Salahuddin Haider

VITAL question most analysts, and experts kept their fingers crossed as no clear-cut answer was easily available, Atleast for the present, but Biden’s repeated reference to holy Quran, Hadees, and the praise he showered on prophet Mohammad (PBUH), plus the bulk support from Muslim community, does build hopes of an improved relationship between Pakistan and United States.
Again, this is just a hope the reality will dawn only after he takes oath as America’s 46th president and moves formally to white house coming January, picks his cabinet, and decides on broad policy matters. It could, however, be said with some consensus that while his tilt towards India will remain substantial because of the latter’s huge size and population, and market for developed countries products, Biden’s understanding of Pakistan, its problems, principal issues will be much better than trump. A simple explanation for that Biden has been twice vice-president, could have learnt a lot from Barak Obama, possibly from Clinton also, and his earlier statements on Kashmir, could be a happy augury for Islamabad to look for much better relations with Washington than what was in the mind of Donald Trump.
Also Biden cannot help appreciate Pakistan’s role for a peaceful Afghanistan. Imran Khan’s policies, and approach, his recent vista to Kabul, talks with President Ashraf Ghani, honour guard, and warm welcome in Afghanistan capital, plus the promising visit to Islamabad of Abdullah Abdullah, all can be very persuasive factor for Biden to make up his mind, towards better ties with Pakistan.
One must simultaneously be cautious of India’s focus on fomenting trouble in Pakistan, its vote against Pakistan at FATF meeting, fears from foreign office, and ISPR Chief Maj-General Babar Iftikhar, need to be kept in mind. Trump’s decision to promote indo-Israeli collusion, was yet another dangerous move for Pakistan, that made the latter doubly attentive to its security concerns. One Kalbhushan was arrested for spying on Pakistan, but the warning from army about Delhis’ help to dissidents in Balochistan, and Tehrik-e-Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) has become yet another powerful factor, which needs to be conveyed to Biden in unambiguous words. There can be so many more Kalbhusans, aiming at Pakistan to fulfil India’s designs against us.
Nothing can yet be said with certainty about his response to Pakistan’s hope for us role in easing tension in subcontinent. Islamabad’s role has been appreciated by Pompeo, but simultaneously, his pro-indo-israeli approach, too needs to be taken seriously for the present, the key question is will pak-us relations get better or worse? ticklish questions hardly provides easy answers. It is neither 80s nor 90s, when George Bush and past president, General Pervez Musharraf struck equilibrium in bilateral relationship. It is now 2020, an entirely changed world, bugged by corona, facing massive economic melt-down. Biden, and his men, naturally be deeply concerned about restoration of economic conditions of their country, ties with Europe; etc. that does not mean that Pakistan must relax in its endeavour to seek peace in the region. Taliban need to wipe off Daish or ISI, as it is normally named, and various Taliban groups in Afghanistan, need to agree on one single leader to represent them in any future afghan coalition, in order to fulfil the America’s desire to pull back its 8,000 troops from a country, torn by war, and jihadists for 40 years
While peace in Afghanistan looks much more nearer than ever before, but the threat of promoting and financing terrorism in Pakistan from India, demands proper international attention. Pakistan has laid bare its cards and now hopes for at least some support from the developed world. These and many other complicated questions like Donald Trump’s insistence to fight legal battle over Nov 3 results. His demand for recount on Pennsylvania votes has been thrown out by a superior court.
So has the court in Georgia, the two principal states, where change of voting results, may turn the applecart upside down. Trump has appealed to a new court in Pennsylvania, the result of which is keen awaited, although chance for trump’s success looks substantially bleak yet uncertainty that it promotes, can never be overlooked. Imran Khan’s government must initiate contact at diplomatic and expected white house continent, hire lobbyists, to build a forceful case for Biden to attend to. Without that, it would be seen as a lost opportunity once again.

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