‘Pakistan – United States Relations: The Way Forward’

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that under PTI government the U.S. policy of coercion towards Pakistan is gradually transforming into one of cooperation.
Speaking at a conference on ‘Pak-U.S. Relations: The Way Forward’ organized by the Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI), Mr Qureshi stated that both countries are gradually moving towards a mutually beneficial, constructive and cooperative approach in bilateral relations.
During his key note address, Foreign Minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first visit to the US offers the leadership of both countries new opportunities towards resetting the bilateral relationship and it will also enable Pakistan to build its narrative and counter Indian propaganda.
U.S. has appreciated Pakistan’s key role in facilitating the process of intra-Afghan and regional dialogue.
The next session delved into four key aspects of the Pak-U.S. relations that encompassed diplomatic, security and economic dimensions of the bilateral ties. Former Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry analyzed the diplomatic aspect, former Secretary Defence Lt. Gen (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik reviewed the security relations while Muhammad Kamran Nasir, Chief Executive Officer of JS Global Capital Ltd evaluated the economic dimension of the relations. Former Secretary National Security Division Amb (Retd) Muhammad Sadiq, who chaired the session, deliberated on Pak-US cooperation for peace in Afghanistan and prospects of peace deal.
Amb Aizaz Chaudhry stated that U.S. perspective towards Pakistan is shaped by the Afghanistan lens and increasingly from the Chinese lens. Therefore, it is important for Pakistan to impress upon U.S. leadership that Islamabad’s relations with China are not poised against any other State. Both countries must attempt to revive and sustain bilateral dialogue process to deepen the relationship.
Lt General (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik said that Pakistan’s future policy towards the United States must be guided by history. He said foreign policy must advance economic interests as the main guarantor of national security. Military to military relations should not be the main driver of the bilateral relationship with US, he maintained.
Mr. Kamran Nasir stated that Pakistan must build an export-led economy but that will require major structural reforms. CPEC, he noted, represents investment in communication and energy sectors by China but a significant part of technical support is coming from US companies like Caterpillar and General Electric. Islamabad, he said, can benefit from the American technology in the agriculture sector for improving crop yields and significant export opportunities in the IT and telecom sectors.
Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq cautioned about the prospects of peace in Afghanistan. He stated that the conflict in Afghanistan has created a new elite that has no interest in peace in the country. He feared that even if all parties agree to peace but its implementation will remain a big challenge particularly if a single ethnic group dominates the others.
In his concluding remarks Syed Muhammad Ali said Pakistan must pacify the U.S. leadership that its relationship with China is not against the United States. In contrast, Washington’s Indo-Pacific policy is both unrealistic towards India and dangerous for South Asian strategic stability and peace. U.S. policy towards South Asia deserves a timely review in order to ensure lasting peace, security and stability, which is in Washington’s interest.
Earlier, Executive Director IPI Prof Sajjad Bokhari said that for a meaningful change in the complexion of bilateral ties, US needed to review its Indo-Pacific Strategy, address Pakistan’s security concerns, and stop seeing China-Pakistan relations, particularly, CPEC as a challenge. He underscored that both sides must recommit to the principles of mutual respect and finding common ground on issues of mutual interest.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here