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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Is Biden the new hope of Pakistan, Iran?

World hopes this time the Democrats will not follow unnecessary global expansionist policies and promote suitable and sensible policies in the Middle East and beyond, writes author.

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US presidential election is now over in the United States of America and Joe Biden has emerged as winner in the electoral race by securing 290 votes as compared to 217. At last, democratic challenger Joe Biden succeeded in ousting President Donald Trump from the White House in a tight race. Now, Joe Biden has secured enough Electoral College as well as popular votes to become the 46th President of the United States.

Winning the state of Pennsylvania paved his way towards the White House. It was a dramatic turnaround (72% highest in the last 100 years) in which more than 140 million people voted and both the presidential candidates secured the highest number of votes (Biden 74.916 & Trump 70.781 million). It was predicted that Republican incumbent Donald Trump looked likely to sweep the race, taking the swing state of Florida.

Post-election Trump vs. post-election Biden

Mr. Trump’s post-election strategy will be based on a series of legal challenges over alleged irregularities in the electoral process in several states. Mr. Biden showed great modesty and responsibility to react to his victory and repeated his vow to work for all Americans. Mr. Trump seems to be in a denial mode continuing to repeat his false claims of voter fraud with mail-in-ballots despite zero evidence of fraudulent ballots.

Read more: Biden: New Man in the White House; Pakistan’s way forward?

In his victory speech Joe Biden highlighted importance of unity, harmony and larger political consensus and termed it the “soul of America”. He showcased importance of US health care system and pledged to take all possible measures to get COVID-19 pandemic under control (The virus has killed over 235,000 Americans, wiped out 20 million jobs and threatens to destroy at least $16 trillion in economic value in the coming years).

Biden’s heart winning promises

He promised to eradicate spirits of hatred and prejudice towards weaker factions of the society and maintain a just “racial justice” in the country (In 2020, the tragic fate of George Floyd caused a wave of national outrage, energizing the Black Lives Matter protest movement and laying bare endemic racial injustice and deep social cleavages). He outlined his future policies of climate change (he will make the renewable energy transition a centerpiece of energy policy), governance and of course decent democracy. He pledged to revive social and economic development and defeat masses of despair.

That is why more than 70 percent American Muslims voted for Joe Biden. Biden’s campaign has also adopted policy platforms meant to moderate and strengthen support among the party’s left flank

During his speech he showed his strategic priorities to achieve greater spirits of just globalization, multiculturalism and restoration of international partnerships especially EU and the rest of the world. In the end he promised to put an end to era of division, indecency, dehumanization and demonization from the future politics of the USA.

White supremacy; the center of Trump’s campaign

If we critically examine election campaigns of 2020 of both the candidates we got to understand chessboard of the real US politics. The whole electioneering of Mr. Trump was based on the cultural issues, socio-politico polarization and immigration policies. His target audience or potential voters were white voters. He intentionally created atmosphere of fear among the white voters from the increased “Black Lives Matter” protests and erratic riots that swept the country in following numerous police shootings of black Americans.

Read more: In the post pandemic world, will ‘Black Lives Matter’?

In a nutshell, his whole election campaign was propelled on racial division, US cultural domination, social disharmony, white supremacy, economic sanctions and last but not the least promotion of spirits of indecency, distrust and disharmony.

Biden’s leftist electoral campaign

Whereas, Mr. Biden appealed to centrists, independent swing voters and Republicans disaffected with Mr. Trump’s presidency. He targeted liberals and progressives by accusing Mr. Trump of far-right sympathies and undermining legal processes. He attracted conservatives, including an increasing population such as the “QAnon movement” by labeling Trump a staunch supporter of corrupt political class and business tycoons. He used innovated public relation techniques to win the hearts and souls of the US voters.

He successfully highlighted gross flaws in Mr. Trump’s policies to control COVID-19. He campaigned to maintain a racial justice especially for blacks and Latinos. He talked highly about dehumanization of other faiths especially increasing hatred policies towards Muslims and promised to ratify it. That is why more than 70 percent American Muslims voted for Joe Biden. Biden’s campaign has also adopted policy platforms meant to moderate and strengthen support among the party’s left flank.

Joe Biden as 46th President of the United States will be cause for celebration in many EU capitals but not all leaders of the same will be in comfort zone

It seems that domestically, the Democrats will face immense difficulties to control the Congress, threatening more deadlocks between a Biden White House and a Republican-held Senate. Democrats have control of the House of Representatives but the outcome in the Senate is still unclear until January 2021, and there’s a good possibility that it will remain in Republican hands.

Is Biden the new hope for Iran and Pakistan?

Being a prominent regional geopolitical expert, I foresee certain policy changes in the Biden Administration towards Iran, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, China, EU and Latin America. In this regard, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on the next US administration to restart fulfilling commitments under the Iran nuclear deal. It seems that reconciliation may overcome destruction in case of Iran in the days to come.

Mr. Biden has been a friend of Pakistan and constantly, promoted strategic ties and dialogues between the two countries in the past. He highly appreciated Pakistan’s efforts towards war against terrorism. Being the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), Biden, along with Senator Richard Lugar, promulgated the Enhanced Partnership Act with Pakistan 2008.

Read more: Biden’s win; a flicker of hope for Iran?

He played a crucial role in Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act 2009. Furthermore Biden supported political and economic situation in Pakistan for grater regional stability. He also treated Pakistan as a valuable and trustful ally in the context of the Afghan problem. It seems that a trilateral dialogue under Biden new administration may be adopted to bring peace in Afghanistan.

Will India enjoy the same leverage under Biden?

The new US Administration may also bring surprising changes towards India. India has enjoyed diplomatic leverage under the Trump Administration. Its hostile narrative towards Pakistan since the last Indian elections, and the unilateral annulment of Article 370, revoking Kashmir’s special autonomy, relatively went unheard in Washington. Now it hopes that the Biden administration would initiate some balancing acts to improve Indo-Pak relations through dialogue. In the past, Mr. Bidden supported the Vajpayee-Musharraf talks as a US Senator. There would be a change on the issue of human right violations in occupied Kashmir.

A new chapter for US relations with rest of the world

US-China trade war may be resolved to a mutually befitting proposition through diplomacy and dialogue. Greater understanding may be achieved with the EU on the issues of climate change, immigration policies and global role of the NATO in the days to come. A sense of diplomatic paradigm shift may be prevailed while dealing with Canada and Mexico in near future.

Read more: Power shift in US: All eyes on Biden

Joe Biden as 46th President of the United States will be cause for celebration in many EU capitals but not all leaders of the same will be in comfort zone. Germany, Denmark and France will be winners and UK, Hungary and Slovenia will be great losers in the days to come. Let us hope this time the Democrats will not follow its unnecessary global expansionist policies and promote suitable and sensible policies in the Middle East and beyond.

Izhar Hussain is an independent researcher and political analyst based in Karachi. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.