Despite the riots, claims of election fraud and an insurrection which took the lives of five Americans, it appears that the peaceful transition of power will continue to be a process upheld in the United States of America, as it inaugurates its 46th president. Albeit it must be noted that this time, the change will be accompanied by over 25,000 National Guard troops securing the capital, five times as many troops as there are in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This fact is an indicator of many things—it shows that the division in the US society has increased to such levels that security akin to the extent used in foreign invasions is now required to keep calm in the US Congress and the White House. It is also an attestation to the fact that the two-decades-long US intervention in the Middle East is now finally nearing an end.
The mood in Washington is less ceremonial—apart from the riot on January 6, the President-Elect faces a whole host of problems. The pandemic is still raging, and has affected the US more than most parts of the world. Biden also has to make many fundamental decisions on foreign policy—one of the biggest casualties of the Trump administration was its disastrous relationship with Iran. For the sake of world peace, this needs to be sorted out, as Iran also tries to leverage its way onto better conditions for a deal.
The US Presidency affects all countries—Pakistan too has a stake as the US prepares to leave Afghanistan near our borders. As security priorities of the US change and it requires Pakistan’s facilitation of the peace process, we too must use the opportunity for better relations to improve trade ties. Both the US and Pakistan serve to benefit from bilateral trade, an area which has suffered because of the pandemic. As the US turns a new page, one which promises to be vastly different from the Trump administration, Islamabad too must identify areas of cooperation to build better and more mutually-beneficial ties with the new US administration.