On The Eve of Trump-Imran Meeting: Pakistan-US Ties Require Entrepreneurship, Creative Thinking

Two-Liner
On the eve of Trump-Imran meeting, Pakistani media and academia is more interested in negativity and recalling past grievances. Time to look to future, new opportunities.

Pakistan’s 1991 Mistake
This situation today is like the 1990s when Pakistan helped the Free World defeat communism but failed to extract strategic benefits from its powerful western allies. Pakistani elites preferred to look inwards and spend the next 25 years disengaging from the world at all levels: economically, culturally, and strategically. That was the time Pakistan’s neighbors China and India liberalized their worldview and achieved big.

Some New Thinking
Since January 2018, Daily Pakistan Global allowed me to explore emerging opportunities in Pakistan-US relations under President Trump. Over the past eighteen months, we have explored some bold ideas in this relationship that are missing from the public discourse in Pakistan:

1. January 2018: Does Pakistan Want America Defeated in Pakistan? The argument was: No. American defeat in Afghanistan does not suit Pakistan’s long-term strategic interests.

2. May 2018: America and Pakistan’s Joint Defeat in Afghanistan. Quote: “America and Pakistan are staring in the face of a joint defeat in Afghanistan. Their diplomats and soldiers are exhausted. Russia, India, and Iran are consolidating their positions in Afghanistan. Dozens of Afghan officials, spooks, and warlords are milking the Americans and Pakistanis for dollars and benefits while double gaming them with Moscow, New Delhi, and Tehran.

3. May 2019: A Pakistani Strategic Opportunity in Iran Crisis. Quote: “International pressure on Iran is also a good time to try to effect change in Tehran’s policies on Pakistan and possibly in the wider region. For Islamabad, of special interest is Tehran’s open alliance with India’s plans to contain and encircle Pakistan and fail the CPEC/Gwadar project. So, the American pressure campaign on Iran helps Pakistan in some ways to pursue its interests.”

One additional point: Islamabad should lobby Washington to cancel Chabahar port sanction exemption to India. Why? Currently, the port is being used to oppose & fail destabilize American peace talks in Afghanistan. [More details in article link.]

4. July 2019: Is Gwadar Attack Linked to Gulf Tensions? Quote: “April and May [2019] have seen three major attacks in and around the Strait of Hormuz targeting Pakistani, Emirati, and Saudi interests. All these attacks were military-level operations, impeccably executed.”

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The public discourse in Pakistan has grown so reclusive, not to use the word isolationist, that it is hard to find commentaries in Pakistan today discussing emerging opportunities for Pak-American cooperation in the wider region of South Asia, Afghanistan, and the Gulf.

Ahmed Quraishi
Journalist. Researcher. Commentator.

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Journalist with an eye for stories hiding in the grey area between national security, changing societies, and human rights in the MENA region.

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Ahmed Quraishi

Ahmed Quraishi

Journalist with an eye for stories hiding in the grey area between national security, changing societies, and human rights in the MENA region.

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