Pak-US relations

Published: September 9, 2019
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Prime Minister Imran Khan, after handing over the management of the economy to the IMF, has forgotten about the sufferings the common people are undergoing.

One wonders who is looking after Pakistan’s foreign relations, especially Pak-US relations. In March, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi told the nation that ties with the USA were in a bad shape in the past ‘but because of our successful foreign policy’ relations between the two countries have been improving and about to take a new turn. On another occasion the same month, Qureshi thanked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for timely intervention amid simmering tensions between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

But this is not the way the USA looks at the relationship. Speaking at the 44th annual meeting of the US-India Business Council earlier this week, Secretary Pompeo said President Donald Trump had taken a far tougher stand on Pakistan than previous presidents, as he throws his weight behind New Delhi to “deal with” Islamabad and Beijing.

The Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, underlined two US concerns about Pakistan, ‘proliferation and support for terrorists.’ The USA, she said, remains concerned about Pakistan’s development of certain categories of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. After referring to Pulwama, Wells warned that ‘terrorist organisations’, such as LeT and JeM, would continue to pose a grave risk to international peace as long as they were able to operate freely in Pakistan.

Muhammad Talal

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2019.

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