Pak-US ties in the backdrop of recent development

Agha Masood
Agha Masood Hussain

At this critical juncture of Pak-US affairs, when the two countries do not enjoy good relations, the ties have further strained with the imposition of restriction on movement of Pakistani diplomats in Washington DC as well other places in the United States. As a matter of fact, the American move to restrict the movement of Pakistani diplomats was uncalled for and would usher in more problems for both the countries, which had been trusted allies in War on Terror in the region.

Every action has a reaction. That’s why Pakistan in retaliation has also imposed restrictions on the movement of US diplomats stationed at Islamabad. Pakistan’s move to put restriction on the movement of US diplomats was tit for tat. To my mind, the US should not have clamped the movement for Pakistani diplomats as most of them as I know are well-wishers of US and want to strengthen the relations between the two countries. As a matter of fact, majority of Pakistanis do not want bad relations with the US and have always said and acknowledged as also appreciated that US had always come to Pakistan’s rescue both economically and militarily in early days of its establishment when the new-born state was faced with dire straits, but now in an unfortunate turn of events, both the countries are at loggerhead with each other which is not good omen rather it will create unnecessary tension world over.

To be very specific, there is no denying that the hypocrite Indian lobby and some Pakistanis like Mr Hussain Haqqani played a dirty role convincing the US administration to impose ban and punish Pakistan for no reason. The restriction on the movement of Pakistani diplomats will not yield positive results for US foreign policy. Rather it will have negative impact on the relations between the two countries and will also have negative repercussion for the peace in the region. For war on terror, the ties between the two countries should remain on tract, so that militancy and terrorism can be fight out from the region.

Many an analysts are of the opinion The Americans are annoyed because Pakistan has, in recent years, developed amicable relations with the Peoples Republic of China who is helping Pakistan to develop Gwadar port and other related infrastructures with it and assured Pakistani government that China will help eliminate energy crisis affecting the economic growth.

The United States like India is also opposed to CPEC and does not want Pakistan develop economically especially the Baluchistan province where India and Afghanistan are opening helping the Baluch insurgents to disrupt and sabotage the CPEC projects, but such negative tactics will not deter Pakistan or China to abandon the work on CPEC which not only a game changer for the country but almost lifeline for its people.

However, good sense must prevail and Pakistan should reconsider its decision imposing the ban on the movement of US diplomats working in Pakistan as USA is largest trading partner of Pakistan, buying textiles and textile products worth US dollars four billion besides the IT-related products. Moreover, USA sells some sophisticated weapons to Pakistan. Strategic analysts are of the opinion that if the relations with USA further deteriorate, Pakistani exports will suffer hugely creating a negative impact on Pakistani economy which is already in doldrums.

It is, therefore, in the larger interest of Pakistan not to spoil the relations with USA, rather the situation demands that our country should immediately hold dialogue with the US administration to sort the problem of diplomatic movement that is straining the ties between the two countries. Meanwhile Pakistan should unilaterally lift ban on the movement of US diplomats as the gesture of goodwill.

I think US administration will appreciate Pakistan move paving way for the dialogue on the exiting issues. USA also must realize that Pakistan has done more for US interest in the region than any other nation. Pakistan is still vital for USA to resolve the issue of Afghanistan threatening the world peace. Therefore USA should review its stance on Pakistan and reconsider the decision with respect to the restriction on movement of Pakistani diplomats in USA and vice versa.

Though the situation is strained between the two countries but still room exists for reconciliation as the two countries have worked for long as trusted allies in War on Terror for decades and the two are still vital for each other’s interest.