News Analysis |
U.S President Donald Trump has said that he is looking forward to meeting the new leadership of Pakistan soon, but it was levelled with a touch of criticism to Islamabad for “terrorists” once again. He was talking about congress’s unwillingness to let him build a $5 billion wall saying that the U.S happily pays billions to foreign countries even though they do nothing in return, but reluctance comes when it about the U.S itself.
“We want to have a great relationship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy, they take care of the enemy,” he said. “We just can’t do that. So, I look forward to meeting with the folks from — and the new leadership in Pakistan, we’ll be doing that in the not-too-distant future. I ended the 1.3 billion we paid, it’s like water, and we just do it.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan a few weeks back, seeking Pakistan’s assistance in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table talks.
President Donald Trump has continuously been critical to Pakistan for harbouring terrorist which in a way is consistent for many years irrespective of who is in the oval office. In November 2018, President Donald Trump had a twitter spat with Prime Minister Imran Khan where both latter defended baseless allegations and asked the former to not to seek resort of the defeat in Afghanistan in this way.
Donald Trump, who had initially sidelined Pakistan in his “New South Asia Policy” announced in November 2017, eventually wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan a few weeks back, seeking Pakistan’s assistance in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table talks.
What could be Discussed at the Meeting?
A meeting between the two leaders at this stage when the United States is engaged with, ostensibly, a meaningful and climatic dialogue process with the Taliban could help clear the misunderstandings. The United States has long been asking Pakistan to help its Afghanistan mission reach to a logical end, but consistently failed to acknowledge Pakistan’s concerns regarding increasing Indian footprint on Afghan soil.
Resultantly attacks like that of Chinese consulates, repeated crossing and engagement of hostile elements via Balochistan take place in which Pakistani soldiers and civilians lose their lives. It might be possible that Prime Minister Imran Khan could give the U.S president real insight of the on-ground situation and Pakistan’s integrated security with the way peace settlement is reached in Afghanistan.
U.S happily pays billions to foreign countries even though they do nothing in return, but reluctance comes when it about the U.S itself.
In his letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Donald Trump had acknowledged that “both countries have suffered in the war against terror”, which was a slight step back to his constant hostility. If a meetup is arranged as he proposed, not-too-soon, in the current scenario there is a greater chance to capitalize since the developments in Afghanistan are going in the way the United States wants them to.
Beyond Af-Pak Lens
Over the years Washington has held the bilateral relations between United States of America and Pakistan under the Af-Pak lens, which led to a monotonous stream of comments and initiatives from both sides simply seeking to resolve the 17-year-old conflict.
Read more: Trump’s love-hate relationship with Pakistan
It was precisely because of the fact that Afghanistan is what the U.S needed Pakistan about and ineptness of Pakistani leadership to extend the relations beyond the said issue. Pakistan being a developing country has a lot to learn for a tech-savvy, entrepreneur-friendly United States, and on the other hand, for Pakistani products and services, the U.S is a favourable market.
As it happens when a country reaches the pinnacle of development, returns for the U.S investors who invest in the country are marginal as compared to putting the money into a growing market such as Pakistan. The benefits of friendly, trade-oriented bilateral relations are beyond apprehension. And it is for the Pakistani intelligentsia to consider that it is Pakistan who is more at the receiving end therefore, Afghanistan should not be the endgame here.