Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived at LaGuardia in New York on Friday in the United States on a weeklong visit in yet another sign to improve relations between the two sides. Reports in local media said General Bajwa was accompanied by a high-powered delegation including the Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Chief of General Staff, and the director general military operations. He is scheduled to meet Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Intelligence Director Avril D. Haines, and CIA Director William J. Burns. He will also meet members of various think tanks and other scholars interested in Pakistan affairs, per reports. Media reports further claimed that COAS will also meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, however, no official commented on the matter.
Earlier, a report in Nikkei Asia quoting sources suggests that he held a rare telephonic conversation with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman earlier this week as deteriorating foreign reserves overshadow economic recovery. During his call with the US Deputy Secretary of State, COAS Bajwa urged the White House and the US Treasury Department for the quick supply of $1.2 billion to Pakistan. His last visit to the US was in 2019 when he accompanied ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan on a three-day trip.
Understanding the matter better
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) called on General BirameDiop (Senegal), United Nations (UN) Military Advisor to Secretary General during an official visit to the United States (US). During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, and overall regional security situation including natural disasters caused by floods across the country came under discussion. COAS appreciated the role of the office of the UN Military Advisor in promoting UN core values and their response during crises.
The UN Military Advisor expressed his grief over the devastation caused by ongoing floods in Pakistan due to climate changes and offered sincere condolence to the families of the victims. He assured full support to the flood victims. UN dignitary acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping Missions & extraordinary achievements in counter-terrorism.
It is a strategic move at a crucial moment. It will open avenues of collaboration in many areas, and assist in helping expand all-dimension cooperation. The appointment of the US Ambassador to Pakistan was already a genuine achievement and the right step in this regard. The political and diplomatic relations must be upgraded to the highest level, which will pave the way for the overall improvement of relations.
It is desired visa regime may be relaxed, travel advisory may be removed, and the exchange of scholars, intellectuals, and think tanks, may be enhanced. The education sector must be opened to Pakistani youth and all restrictions on Pakistani students must be relaxed. Access to the market may be granted, and unnecessary taxes and duties on Pakistan products may be reduced or waved off. Economic cooperation may be upgraded, investment opportunities must be encouraged and facilitated.
Science and Technology will be the core area of cooperation, transfer of technology, and access to emerging technologies may be facilitated.
The way forward
Pakistan has been in the American club for more than seven decades, and signatory of several pacts, and agreements with the US. Pakistan stood side by side with the US during the cold war era and its struggle against the communism threat. Pakistan was a front-line ally with the US during its war against the former USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Pakistan was a non-NATO close ally during the war on terror after 9/11, in 2001.
Pakistan looked after American interests in this region for seven decades and ensured that the US achieved its all strategic goals. Since the US undermined Pakistan and sidelined it for a decade or longer, the US has been facing failures one after another consecutively. Pakistan’s role is to deceive in this part of the world. Its geostrategic location, resilient force, and political strength are vital for any superpower to sustain its supremacy.
The US has realized the strength of Pakistan and is reverting back to restore the traditional friendship between Pakistan and the US. Early restoration is highly desired. It is anticipated that the Army Chief’s visit will be fruitful and beneficial to the whole nation.
The restoration of Pakistan-US relations is important to the whole region and will bring stability, development, and prosperity to all. It is no threat to any third country in the region. Pakistan is caring well for all its neighbors, and friends in the whole region.
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.