US-Pakistan Relations: Diplomacy in Hot Cup

As US-Pakistan relations are getting bad by the recent events. Diplomacy in its house seems liked failed to maintain an equal relation of both partners. The experience at a military airfield near Islamabad, which was followed with bated breath on live TV, was the up-to-the-minute histrionic turn in a bilateral dispute that has raised anti-American mawkishness among Pakistanis and echoes the hardening relationship between two long-term security allies that are increasingly at odds on major issues. It shows the signal of the serious deterioration in bilateral relations, especially over U.S. allegations that Pakistan harbors Islamist insurgents. The new American limitations bound all Pakistani diplomats and their families to traveling no more than 25 miles from Washington or other cities with Pakistani consulates without earlier permission. One State Department official said last month that the U.S. limits were being applied in response to prior similar limitations by Pakistan, but some Pakistani officials called them offensive and unwarranted.

Although in international relations, there is no permanent enemy nor a permanent friend, it’s all about interest. The time when Pakistan was serving American interest in the form of War on Terror by sacrificing a large number of human lives, by undermining our own sovereignty by allowing access to America of important locations in Pakistan, everything was good and now when Pakistan stands to defend its citizen’s rights. America should support Pakistan being the world’s largest democracy and Activist for Human Rights Agenda. Diplomatic immunities are their but the not on the expense of a human life, it does not matter whether the individual was American citizen or Pakistani resident. Human life is precious in all its form.

Pakistan is shifting the interests from hard to soft power by providing a sense of security to their citizens and is moving towards prosperity. Whenever partners are working there should be equality, like they should be friends, not masters. As Pakistani students avail the opportunity of exchange program and go to America to observe their culture and values as promoting Track 2 Diplomacy, similarly America should send its students to Pakistan to know about Pakistan, its culture, value and security situation. This will bring a positive change in the both states Policies. On the hand, at official level, Trump should not devalue Pakistan as it’s one the best partner who helped America in the hour of need. But in future if they continue the same behavior towards Pakistan, there may be a wave of sense like “Pakistan has been used as a tissue paper by America” and as compare to the public awareness in 2001 to current awareness, there is a lot of difference. Now the people of Pakistan has more political awareness and this can be seen in the recent scenario of Prime Minister’s dismissal. So America should avoid its twin track policy, as one the one hand they rise their voice as the protector of human rights and on the other hand, making relations worse with Pakistan upon the issue of unjustified and unlawful killing of Pakistani Citizen by its diplomat. In that way, both states can cooperate further in future.

Maryam Zohra Warraich
Maryam Zohra Warraich
MPhil in International Relations from Quaid e Azam university Islamabad.