Home Views & Opinions Biden’s reluctance to engage with PM Imran Khan and Pakistan-USA ties

Biden’s reluctance to engage with PM Imran Khan and Pakistan-USA ties


USA President Joe Biden has yet not communicated to Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan via telephone or through any other diplomatic channel though former is in office since January 2021.
Although Joe Biden spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi during first week of February 2021 soon after he was sworn in as 46th President of USA on 26th January 2021.
PM Modi was one of the few world leaders to have spoken with Biden soon after his electoral victory in November. “Prime Minister Modi spoke to president-elect Biden on 17 November 2020 in which both the leaders reiterated their firm commitment to bilateral strategic partnership and discussed concerns and priorities such as COVID-19 pandemic, energy and climate change, and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Only three days prior PM Modi-Biden call, there were exchange of harsh words between US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and People’s Republic of China (PRC) Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and China firmly made it clear to USA to refrain itself from involving into the internal affairs of its country.
India is among one of the countries that opposed China’s CPEC project and termed it as China’s hegemonic designs and joined USA as an important partner of the Quad in countering the supremacy of China in the Indo-pacific region. Interestingly, the call between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi specifically held conversation about ‘support for freedom of navigation, territorial integrity, and a stronger regional architecture through the Quad’.
The initial phone calls between Joe Biden and PM Modi and the difference in tone & pitch taken with India and China is evident to indicate that the US is taking a hardline against China and is looking at India as a regional stabilizer for USA to curtail China to emerge as next economic and regional superpower .
US has deliberately ignored Pakistan despite the critical role of Islamabad to persuade the Taliban to negotiate with the US in a peace process in Afghanistan.
President Biden avoidance and reluctance to speak to PM Imran Khan is leaving many question marks, some analysts taking it as a strong & categorical signal to make it realize it to the Islamabad’s strong military establishment that Washington consider Imran Khan as an installed & a puppet ruler and Washington incumbent Biden regime more inclined to favor military rule over fragile & so called democratic dispensation for developing worlds and especially want to establish military based government in Pakistan as USA president’s preference is for strong leaders to push its global agenda and approach affecting America’s international relation to intact status of “super power”.
Biden did not even invite Khan to first virtual summit hosted by USA on climate change held on April 22-23 2021. The US president invited 40 heads of state and government, including leaders of India, Bangladesh and Bhutan from the South Asian region, but sent a belated invitation to a low-profile functionary who serves as Khan’s special assistant on climate change.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited India and Afghanistan on March and similarly Biden’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, visited India and Bangladesh in April but eschewed a stopover in Pakistan
Biden administration sidelining PM Imran Khan but not Pakistan and its military which is evident from the fact that General Frank McKenzie, the head of America’s Central Command has spoken General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, regarding the withdrawal of USA troops from Afghanistan. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin v has talked to COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa on numerous occasions. The US defense chief even spoke with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa over the phone while he was in Kabul.
The gestures of ignorance to PM Imran Khan by Biden administration being delivered by Washington are constant snubs that it does not want to engage olive branches to Islamabad.
Washington expressing displeasures through diplomatic sleights for number of reasons first of all, after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan for the first time in 20 years, Afghanistan won’t be the main prism through which Washington views its relations with Islamabad.
USA also want to compel Islamabad to help Washington achieve goals in Afghanistan. Washington presumes that Islamabad is pushing China and Russia’s agendas at the expense of US interests in Afghanistan. Due to its closer ties with Taliban, Islamabad is in a better position to manipulate in formation of future Afghanistan government which is not acceptable to Washington.
USA having strong reservations that Pakistan has clinched to China orchid, which perceived to be the lack of gratitude on the part of the US for what Pakistan has done in war of terror by being a close ally to USA.
China under President Xi Jinping rule is aggressively projecting its economic and military power and manifested China as world’s second largest and strongest economic and military power, USA aligning with India to contain the Chinese influence in the region, which is going to backfire.
Washington making all efforts to drift away Pakistan from China and proposed the formation of a US-Pakistan Economic Zone at Karachi’s port to re-process industrial goods at concessional rates for export to US markets. The apex committee’s work has so far remained confined to working papers.
Pakistan in every perspective is in the position to grasp the opportunity to force USA to address its national interests solely based on its sovereignty. Indeed, time has come when Pakistan is in viable position to dictate Washington its terms to grant Pakistan its due share in international politics and persuade Biden to play his role to influence to remove it from the terror-financing and money-laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s FATF “grey list”, a designation that hinders Islamabad’s participation in global financial markets.
Islamabad relishes a reoriented relationship with Washington with both economic and security dimensions which USA new administration Joe Biden not in a position to ignore.