Pakistan-United states relations is referred to as a dyadic relationship. The US has created bilateral relationship with Pakistan since Pakistan’s inception i.e., 14 august 1947 by admitting the existence of a separate Muslim state in South Asia. There were strong political, military, defense, geo-economics relations and weapons transformation, nuclear defense discussions and multidimensional strategic exchanges has been continued between both countries.
During the Trump era from 2017 till 2019, many gradual political, strategic, and economic changes occurred. The trump as former president had accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism in Afghanistan and disrupting the peace process for many times while tilting towards the Indian government on basis of ally against China. He criticized Pakistan many times globally and blamed it on the accusation of securing and providing protection to terrorists who are involved in anti-American activities. Trump’s silence towards Indian actions in Kashmir issue was also harmful for US Pakistan relations. Although Trump has announced attempts of developing a better relationship with Pakistan later, however the for a while US geopolitical and defensive strategies were in favor of India and the Afghan government.
As of 2020 Joe Biden has been elected as new President of the United States, although the transition has started from the day of winning and will up to 20 January 2021, the day of officially announcement. Many Analysts, journalists, columnists, and policy makers are continuously debating and expressing their ideas about new elected president’s stance towards Pakistan by drawing conclusions from his previous statements and strategies for Asian countries and Pakistan during Obama’s presidency period when Biden was serving as vice president. As the foreign relations of US are unbalanced since last few years with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, and Afghanistan as well all eyes are set on Biden’s stance.
In the past during Trump’s era, the issues Pak has had to face urged by US republication presidency mostly are,
- US support and tilt towards Pakistan’s rival India.
- Lots of disturbances created due to Afghan-US war.
- Pakistan defensive and nuclear strategies.
- China- Pak enhancing relationship due to CPEC.
What lies ahead?
Will Joe Biden’s foreign policies be beneficial and supportive for Pakistan and be any different from Trump’s policies and strategies? Certainly. Though if we look back years ago at the duration of Obama’s presidency 2009, we can conclude that at that time Joe Biden’s views were not in favor of all military operations and violence of humanity in Afghanistan as his statement has mentioned in Bob Woodward’s book: Obama’s War, and resembled the coming situations with Vietnam. Another assumption regarding supporting India a great rival to Pakistan could be made that at the time of his winning announcement at the day of election, he politely said to his Palestine supporter female child that he would bring justice to the oppressed and victims of slavery, it can be assumed that he would support and slant toward Pakistan regarding Kashmir issue. This way the Afghan peace process, will be under his influence on the US side. The efforts made by Pakistan to communicate, convince, and bring Taliban at peace talk with US regarding military operations, occupation, and implementation of security forces at Afghanistan are at stake.
All of Biden’s previous statements and view of strategy making shows that he would prefer to maintain better relationship with Pakistan whether it involves Pakistan’s interior matters i.e., Strategic influence, neoliberalist, geopolitical or defensive aspects or Kashmir issue other than transactional relations. That is of course if interests align and Pentagon shows no resistance.
The other issue which relates Pakistan and US relationship is China. Trump’s strategy and international relations with China had been unbalanced for many years due to which Pakistan had to carefully establish its foreign policy as Pakistan China relations are friendly. According to Biden’s reviews about China he aims to to repair relations as both countries’ economies suffer on base less trade war. They need to share strategy interests, cultural values, security, and economic affairs. If US-China relations improve that would also strengthen the Pakistan US relations in future.
As the transition process has not been fully completed the new government has to stabilize its position till end of January according to US presidency criterions, so Biden’s has not given a clear insight into the foreign policies and foreign affairs teams of his administration, so the future Pak-US relations can only be assumed by his relevant decisions. If we consider the Biden’s seven pillars of foreign policy which consists of strategies and policies for international countries, by evaluation it can concluded that according to his second, third and fourth strategy pillar he wants to repair the relations with the countries which were strained by Trump and he has shown concern about human rights. Additionally, he wants to establish deeper relations with all Asian countries for mutual economic and strategic and democratic cooperation. It can be concluded that this coming administration will bring some positive relations between the two countries and strengthen the dyadic relationship beyond a transactional one.
Author: Qurat-ul-Ain Ali
About Author: Qurat-ul-Ain Ali is currently pursuing her M.Phil. in Leadership and Management from National Defense University, Islamabad. Her areas of interest include leadership competencies, strategic management, and conflict resolution.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.