Thursday July 18, 2024

The PM’s visit

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
July 26, 2019

The recent visit to the US by Prime Minister Imran Khan along with the top military leadership was a most successful one. One of the most prominent aspects was to convey the message, in a very effective way, that all Pakistanis are on one page for moving our beloved country towards peace and prosperity.

The strategy to address a large number of overseas Pakistanis was really amazing and remarkable. The event not only motivated Pakistani-origin US citizens to contribute something positive for their motherland but also helped the US administration realize the huge popularity of PM Imran Khan. In the past, no Pakistani leader has had the courage to take such initiatives.

It is an undeniable fact that the US tends to develop bilateral ties on the basis of ground realities. Many rulers, mostly from third world countries, mistakenly believe that personal relations with the US leadership can be a guarantee to their rule. However, as soon as such rulers lose public support in their respective countries, the US changes its priorities.

Donald Trump is considered an unconventional politician who is used to expressing his views openly without much diplomacy. During his meeting with PM Imran Khan, he appreciated that Pakistan is a great country of great people. He positively acknowledged that Pakistan is helping the US a lot to solve the Afghanistan crisis.

The revolutionary change in Trump ‘s attitude towards Pakistan is all due to the popularity of the Imran Khan led PTI government. PM Imran Khan understands that cordial relations with the US and the international community are very essential in order to tackle economic challenges. That’s why he made clear during his recent visit that Pakistan is in need of trade not aid.

Historically, Pakistan has always considered itself a natural ally of the US. Our founding father Quaid-e-Azam, in a reply to the letter by then-president of the United States Harry Truman, vowed to establish friendly ties with the US and the international community. The US warmly welcomed the independence of Pakistan, and established formal diplomatic relations on August 15, 1947.

The first official visit to the US by the first Pakistani prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan laid the foundation of bilateral relations on principles and our commitment to join the Western bloc, led by the US. Since then, every Pakistani government, either democratic or otherwise, has attempted to get closer to America.

During the cold-war era, Pakistan actively allied itself with the US. In response to the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, Pakistan decided to become a front-line state. Pakistan played a crucial role on every front for helping the US become the only superpower in today’s unipolar world.

It is indeed a good sign that the Trump administration is now acknowledging the leading role played by Pakistan in the Afghan peace process. In the past, Pakistan was blamed for being in contact with the Taliban but now PM Imran Khan is openly announcing this.

I believe that the history of the 1990s must not be repeated this time. Rather than only focusing on the withdrawal of US troops, it is also the responsibility of the US to ensure formation of a broad-based government in Afghanistan, which has representation from all Afghan segments. There is no harm in accepting the demand by the Taliban for a new national constitution.

Usually, American rulers avoid discussing the Kashmir issue, considering it a bilateral conflict between India and Pakistan. However, the way Trump showed his willingness to play the role of mediator to solve this long-awaited conflict is a ray of hope for all peace-loving people. This is not only a major breakthrough but also a diplomatic victory for Pakistan. It is worth mentioning that Trump has also succeeded in bringing both Korean countries closer. Therefore, he is also in a better position to use his influence in the best interests of Pakistan, India and the people of Kashmir.

This is a golden opportunity for the leaderships of Pakistan and the US to join hands for ensuring world peace, regional stability and security. The people of Pakistan are also excited to eagerly welcome Trump on a possible visit to Pakistan in near future. This is the right time to strengthen historical ties between both natural allies.

The writer is a member of the NationalAssembly and patron-in-chief of thePakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani