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February 14, 2021

‘Pak-Americana: Ushering in a New Era of Pakistan-US Relations’, report launched

National

February 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: A new report titled ‘Pak-Americana: Ushering in a New Era of Pakistan-US Relations’, was launched with supporting speeches by Pakistan's ambassador at large for foreign investment, and former ambassador to the United States, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for National Security, Dr Moeed Yusuf.

In his opening remarks, Ali Jahangir Siddiqui said his support for this report by Tabadlab was the culmination of an effort undertaken by the Middle East Institute (MEI), a year ago. The two reports created a consensus between policy experts in both the United States and Pakistan that the countries needed to look toward, build a discussion framework, and define growth areas. He stated that the hard part would come ahead in implementing the policy road-map as laying out in both the MEI and Tabadlab, papers. He stated, “It is increasingly in the interest of both countries to re-establish a closer bilateral relationship, transitioning from geopolitics to geo-economics.”

The Special Assistant to the PM on National Security Division and Strategic Policy and Planning, Dr Moeed Yusuf said, “We are decidedly on an economic security paradigm and are focused on working with our geo-economic location as opposed to its strategic elements”. The Doha Peace Process, the impact of Covid-19 and the US's escalating power competition with China, all represent the challenges that are better tackled, if Pakistan and the new US administration of President Joe Biden, would work together. The report stressed that the current crossroads moment could be an opportunity to improve Pakistan-US relations.

The report highlighted the following key features of Pakistan-US engagements that Pakistani policymakers must consider in forging a more robust, resilient and mutually beneficial bilateral partnership with the United States. The focus of Pakistan's engagement with the US needs to be trade, regional cooperation and economic growth.

1- Pakistan must seek ways to increase opportunities for youths to access higher education and advanced academic achievements on US universities.

2- Pakistan must invest in its diplomatic capability to help both Washington DC and Beijing as an interlocutor to help the US and China to pursue shared interests and to avoid conflict.

3- Pakistan has a demonstrable capability in counter-terrorism that should be the basis of deeper cooperation with the US, including in intelligence cooperation for counter-terrorism.

4- Pakistan should engage with President Biden's Special Envoy on Climate, John Kerry, to deepen bilateral cooperation against the climate threats.