Pakistan is looking for a positive change under Biden and hopes he will, unlike Trump, address its concerns on regional instability and India’s revisionist policies
The Pakistan-US relationship, long dominated by strategic concerns, can be more productive if they work on larger goals such as climate change, health care, education and infrastructure development
Pakistan and the United States have a multifaceted relationship in areas including counterterrorism, energy, trade and investment. Pakistan, the US and its allies have been fighting the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. The US is one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Pakistan and a top destination for Pakistani goods.
The US relationship with India has been a defining factor in Pakistan-US relations. Islamabad has been sensitive to growing India-US ties since the 1990s. The US moved closer to India than ever under Trump and Pakistan believes that America’s South Asia policies favour India.
Trump’s approach to the region largely decoupled India and Pakistan, which generated less concern from Pakistan about the US-India relationship. Pakistan expects the Biden administration to be more concerned about upholding human rights and United Nations resolutions in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Biden’s presence in the White House can help Pakistan forge new partnerships with the US based on mutual geopolitical and economic interests. Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan because that is connected to stability in Pakistan.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan permits it to redefine its interests in the region. It also presents Pakistan with opportunities to strengthen its strategic and economic ties with the US through effective implementation of the Afghan peace process.
Pakistan has had great success in developing mutually beneficial relationships with predominantly Muslim nations, especially the Arab countries of the Middle East. It has maintained a balanced policy in the region.
Pakistan’s next important area of converging interest with Biden’s administration will be the new Middle East, being shaped by the Abraham Accords.
Pakistan needs to galvanize its intellectual community and diaspora in the US to maintain a balanced policy. TheUS is Pakistan’s top export destination, but these trade gains have yet to be realized. Pakistan’s strategic location will help prompt security, trade and commerce in the coming years.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are of the author and do not necessarily represent Institute’s policy.