Pakistan-US relations during Trump’s Era

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Pakistan-US relations during Trump’s Era
Pakistan-US relations during Trump’s Era

Since the convergence of Pakistan in the USA camp during the Cold War, he relations between Islamic Republic of Pakistan and United States of America have gone through several phases where they can be associated within a wide range of the geopolitical spectrum. From General Ayub’s Era, where Pakistan was their greatest of allies in creating the resistance against the Soviet Union to the finishing of Cold War where USA completely cut off their relations and imposed sanctions on Pakistan due to the development of Nuclear Weapons. From the time in General Musharraf’s era, where USA dearly needed the support of Pakistan to play its part in Pakistan against the so-called “War on Terrorism” to the point where US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of providing nothing but “lies and deceit” for their support against the “War on Terrorism” and for the “billions and billions” of dollars they have provided to Pakistan. However, the reign of Donald J. Trump was especially notable in terms of Pakistan because Pakistan and the United States went through extreme conditions on both ends of the spectrum.

Within his almost completing four years’ reign as the President of the United States, Pakistan and US started seeing straining relations from the beginning of his tenure. Donald Trump entered his Presidency with the America first policy and announced to eradicate all the foreign elements (that involved Pakistan as well) that were causing harm in the progress of the United States and most of the foreign restrictions were to be removed because of it. However, in 2018, the relations took a turn for the worse when Donald Trump tweeted the first tweet of the New Year in 2018 against Pakistan. The United States President accused Pakistan of “Nothing but Lies and Deceit” against the $33 billion dollars that were provided in the last 33 years and it has only resulted in Pakistan providing safe heaven to terrorists in Afghanistan. Several steps were taken that took the relation between Pakistan and USA to its very worst. The US Administration subjected Pakistan to unilateral sanctions and held back the $255 million dollars’ aid that was being provided in terms of “Foreign Military Aid.” Furthermore, other steps were also taken that were involved in the unilateral sanctions that were being applied.

1) Restricting Pakistan’s bid to join the NSG (nuclear Supplier’s Group) through these sanctions.

2) Embarked $350 million dollars embarked for Pakistan in Defense Appropriation Bill

3) Inclusion of several Pakistani companies as risk into the National Security & Interests

As a result of these sanctions, the relations further collapsed, and an element of mistrust spread among the local masses as well where all their efforts in fighting the “War on Terror” where Pakistan lost tens of thousands of lives and economy were not being acknowledged. However, as mentioned earlier, the rule of Donald Trump was a series of extreme ends and the positive aspect of the end was about to start. In 2018, Imran Khan took oath as the Prime Minister of Pakistan which was the start of the changing relations. PM Khan’s stance on helping America’s war was like Donald Trump i.e., “Pakistan First.” Surprisingly enough, the inception of their relation was not good as it started with the exchange of tweets on Donald Trump’s first 2018 tweet where PM Khan reminded him of the sacrifice and economic catastrophe that they had to suffer due to a useless War in Afghanistan by United States. Hence, it took additional a few months into improving the Bilateral Relations.

It was the middle of 2019, where USA and Pakistan saw a refreshing reset of their bilateral relations after the historic visit of PM Imran Khan to the United States of America. During that specific visit, PM Khan allowed their stance and his stance to be delivered to the public in the Country and to the United Nations General Assembly highlighting the efforts made by the Pakistan and losses that Pakistan suffered due to this whole scenario and that “Talks” should be core element in solving this dispute. The same message was delivered during the meeting with the Donald Trump which coincides with his theory of “America First” policy and thus it has been jointly agreed that Pakistan will no longer be a partner of America in War but they will be together in the Partnership of Peace and Pakistan will help the United States to get off the “Afghan War” that was resulting nothing and try their best into resolving issues between USA and Taliban through mutual dialogue that will result to a peaceful agreement and ultimately resulting in peace and progress of Pakistan.

This visit since then resulted in the constant ever so progressing between Pakistan and USA where Pakistan is helping USA to get off this “Afghan War” for peace and instead of being “Allies in War” the focus is being developed to “Allies in Peace” with focus being developed on enhancing trade ties with which Donald Trump has great experience. Since then, and nearing the end of Trump era, from Pakistani perspective, they have maintained very respectable relations where they are allies in peace and continuing to explore areas in business collaboration while Donald Trump openly said that he has very good relations with PM Imran Khan and together with their goal, they will bring an end to this Afghanistan War and explore further options in improving mutually beneficial ties. Overall, even with maintaining the respectable relationship with USA, it seems unlike that Pakistan and USA will ever be able to reach their bilateral relations glory from the early 1960s and 1970s given Pakistan is now looking at their future with regional powers like China and Russia but even with those aspects in mind, the relations with USA can be summed at respectable position which should be maintained without any further presence in USA backed “Aggressive Policies.”

Author: Muhammad Fahad

About Author: Muhammad Fahad is student of bachelors in computer sciences from University of Central Punjab. His areas of Interest include AI, Quantum Development, Space & Defense Technology, History & Geopolitics.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.

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