Many people in the wake of the altercations between the leadership of the United States and Pakistan and in times when China is taking its bilateral relations with Pakistan to new heights in the form of multi billion project China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) thought that the US and Pakistan had enough of each other. But, in international relations, states’ ties with each other fluctuate. The fluctuation of ties between the US and Pakistan misled many for they predicted an end to bilateral engagements. However, the recent meeting of the top Pakistani and US officials on Monday for promotion of economic and business relations have given strength to the adage that nothing is permanent in international relations but national interests.

The participants have rightly stressed upon the need for cooperation in the areas of trade, economy and energy. Islamabad and Washington need to work out how both countries can benefit from each other’s potentials simultaneously. While Ms Alice Wells appreciated the vision of Pakistan’s Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan for economic progress, her words that the US would support the country in achieving the economic stability are not in conformity with the actions of the US that had tried to bar international financial institutions from providing a bailout package to Islamabad. If any constructive engagement is what the two sides desire, then there is no space for such pretences.

On the other hand, Afghanistan was the subject of deliberations between the delegations of the US and Pakistan in a separate meeting at the Foreign Office. While the participants emphasised on the urgency of bringing a lasting end to the conflict in Afghanistan, the two sides need to create an environment for a genuine engagement among all the stakeholders. And both sides need to exert pressure on the Taliban to show flexibility by allowing the current Afghan government to become part of peace negotiations.