US-Pakistan Reset | Editorial

US-Pakistan Reset | Editorial

In a carefully worded message to Pakistan’s new government, US President Joseph Biden has vowed to work with it closely for realising an enduring partnership. This debut message to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has come in the backdrop of serious reservations on irregularities in February 8 elections, and allegations of subsequent tampering of verdict. US lawmakers have open-endedly called for desisting from recognising the new dispensation, unless a fair audit of vote gets underway. But as are the dynamics of realpolitik, especially in a strategic environment where Pakistan is situated, the White House was perhaps cognizant of ground realities in the wake of terror fissures reemerging in Afghanistan, and thus cannot afford to ignore Pakistan’s critical support. This is why it was reiterated that Washington will “continue to stand with Pakistan to tackle the most pressing global and regional challenges”.

The Pakistan-US ties, nonetheless, are in a reset. There is a mounting pressure, on both sides, to address the real issues such as human rights and socio-economic development. Working for a shared vision in realising health security, economic growth and quality education gets amplified with each passing year, and the demand is to foment the relationship on people-centrism rather than limiting it to the prism of security conundrum. The Green Alliance framework is a case in point, wherein the two nations intend to tap the synergies in strengthening climate resilience and sustainable agriculture-cum- water management for a buoyant economy.

This pragmatic agenda, however, still falls short of expectations on the civilian side as far as Pakistan is concerned, as there are genuine grievances in terms of human rights and the selective perspective of the United States. Working for genuine democratic credentials and investing in human development is a must to enable the 240 million-strong enterprising nation, with a 100 million youth bulge, to align itself with the US on a broader agenda of regional and global priorities.

US-Pakistan Reset | Editorial

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2024.


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