Telephone Conversation with the U.S. Secretary of State and Pakistan’s FM

Pakistan-US relations have been passing through many ups and downs in history. The US believes in interest base relations, as a general rule of thumb in the Western World. But, Pakistan is an Eastern Nation and believes in “Pure Friendship”. In our society, relations are above interests. However, according to Eastern culture, friendship, help, and assistance can go to any extent, with no limits.

Pakistan has been serving American Interests during the cold war, the Afghan War against the former USSR’s occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s, the war on terror, etc. But,

Pakistan has never asked for any reward, because in our culture, it is considered an obligation to assist a friend in time of need, without asking for any favor or reward in return. But, the US believes that Pakistan is serving its interests against the meager assistance extended to Pakistan.

The issues rises from the Afghan war after 9/11, when the US supported by allies, removed the Taliban Government and installed the pro-US governments of President Hamid Karzai and then Ashraf Ghani. The US was demanding Pakistan “Do More”, without caring about Pakistan’s national interests, and without considering Pakistan’s capacities. Although, Pakistan was contributing a lot, according to its best possible capabilities, but, could not meet Americans, vicious demands. While the US was judging Pakistan on Western Standards, Whereas, Pakistan was performing on Eastern Standards. It has created few misunderstandings.

Due to its strategic location, and strong will, Pakistan was looking after American interests in this region for more than seven decades and ensured that all vital goals and American interests are achieved. However, since, the US has been keeping its distance from Pakistan, and started relying on India, as a major defense partner, The US has been facing failure after another failure consecutively.

It seems, that the US Administration has realized the ground facts, and recognized Pakistan’s potential and importance. It is obvious from the telephonic conversation between the Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on 06 July 2022.

The Foreign Minister thanked Secretary Blinken for extending him the invitation to attend the ‘Global Food Security Call to Action held in New York in May 2022 and recalled that, on its sidelines, they had a detailed and productive bilateral meeting.

Foreign Minister underscored that Pakistan had a long-standing and broad-based relationship with the United States which needed to be reinforced and widened on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust.

The Foreign Minister underlined the need for frequent exchange of high-level visits between the two countries to realize the full potential of bilateral cooperation across a vast range of areas and highlighted that both countries were celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in a befitting manner.

The Foreign Minister particularly stressed that, given the demographic and economic potential of Pakistan, the U.S. may invest in Pakistan’s growing market. The Foreign Minister also hoped that the Trade and Investment Framework’s Ministerial Meeting could be held later this year to give further impetus to trade ties along with holding of Business Opportunities Conference. The Foreign Minister also appreciated the ongoing visit of Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, Dilawar Syed, to explore and further solidify Pakistan-U.S. commercial and trade ties.

The Foreign Minister underscored to Secretary Blinken the importance of easing the issuance of visas for Pakistani nationals including students, businesspersons, and professionals. The two counterparts agreed to increase cooperation and continue momentum on the ongoing dialogues on Climate Change, Energy, Health, Security, and Trade and Investment. They also agreed to maintain sustained engagement in the future.

The Foreign Minister also underlined that the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, accentuated by the recent earthquake, required scaling up of the international community’s assistance to Afghanistan. The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to remain engaged in the promotion of shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

It is desired that all misunderstandings should be discussed and removed, all differences may be resolved amicably, and restore the traditional friendship between the two old strategic partners. It will be beneficial not only for the two countries but also important for regional peace, stability, and prosperity, too.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.