Why the United States ....

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pak­istan too needs a strong re­la­tion­ship with the US. True, it has very strong ties with China, but it re­la­tions with both the coun­tries are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. We should learn from China, which has demon­strated that you can have dif­fer­ences with the United States and yet it would pur­sue a strong strate­gic and eco­nomic di­a­logue to pro­mote in­ter­de­pen­dence and win-win co­op­er­a­tion. Pak­istan’s for­eign pol­icy, or for that mat­ter of any ma­ture na­tion, is all about bal­ance. China also wants that Pak­istan’s re­la­tions with the US should be sta­ble and it should con­tinue to ex­plore peace with In­dia (and of course In­dia should en­gage with us).

Pak­istan and the US have de­cided to “ex­pand the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship in ar­eas out­side the tra­di­tional se­cu­rity realm” to “trade and in­vest­ment; ed­u­ca­tion, science and tech­nol­ogy; clean, ef­fi­cient and af­ford­able en­ergy; ef­forts to counter cli­mate change; eco­nomic growth; re­gional in­te­gra­tion .... ” Progress in all these ar­eas is pri­mar­ily in Pak­istan’s in­ter­est.

For the mod­ern­iza­tion of Pak­istan’s econ­omy as well as for ac­cess to ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, we should con­tinue to benefit from the US-led west­ern world. It goes with­out say­ing that the US does have in­flu­ence with the international fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and Pak­istan would rely on their support for some time to come. Our chambers of com­merce and in­dus­try con­tinue to work closely be­cause Pak­istan re­quires to be on a fast learn­ing curve in re­gard to net­work­ing for en­hanc­ing trade and en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­por­tu­ni­ties. The US is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor for Pak­istan’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Global Con­nect Ini­tia­tive to use to the In­ter­net more pro­duc­tively. Be­sides, our ex­po­sure to the US would also en­able us to cre­ate more “Smart Uni­ver­si­ties” through en­hanced Wi-Fi broad ac­cess.

To launch a knowl­edge econ­omy, thou­sands of Pak­istani grad­u­ates should be en­rolling in Amer­i­can and West­ern uni­ver­si­ties for doc­toral and post­doc­toral stud­ies es­pe­cially. Our Vi­sion 2025 and the USPak­istan Knowl­edge Cor­ri­dor cre­ate that in­ter­face, but the scale of our col­lab­o­ra­tion is mea­gre. As we re­al­ize our am­bi­tion to take our econ­omy to a higher level, we must se­cure place­ment in the core dis­ci­plines of science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics (STEM).

In the com­ing years, the US-Pak­istan re­la­tions will al­ways re­main vul­ner­a­ble be­cause of he enor­mous in­flu­ence in Wash­ing­ton of the 3.5 mil­lion strong In­dian Amer­i­can com­mu­nity, whose mem­bers have moved into key po­si­tions in the Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Congress, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and think tanks. Pak­istan too has a po­ten­tial equal­izer, al­beit asym­met­ric, in its pros­per­ous and well placed di­as­pora com­mu­nity, whose num­ber may range be­tween 700,000 to 1 mil­lion. This as­set needs to be de­vel­oped. China, In­dia, Is­rael and many Euro­pean coun­tries have demon­strated how their com­mu­ni­ties’ strengths can be lever­aged. Thank­fully, the US sys­tem is open to such ac­tiv­ity which is con­sid­ered quite le­git­i­mate un­der its con­sti­tu­tion, laws and po­lit­i­cal sys­tem.

No mat­ter what we say, the US-In­dia and the US-Pak­istan re­la­tion­ship has been a zero sum game, 1995 on­ward. Since then, In­dia’s gain has been Pak­istan’s loss. And now In­dia’s clout in Wash­ing­ton is un­prece­dented, sec­ond only to Is­rael’s. Pak­istan needn’t be daunted by this chal­lenge. It too has its own niche which can be de­vel­oped with in­ge­nu­ity. The US, for its part, should con­duct a re­view to as­sess the in­tended and un­in­tended con­se­quences of its pol­icy and pos­ture to­wards Pak­istan. — (The writer is for­mer Am­bas­sador to the UN and China. He also worked in Pak­istan Em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton from 1997 to 2002)

PESHAWAR: Traf­fic of­fi­cial dis­play­ing the il­le­gal num­ber plates be­fore me­dia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.