Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, left the country on Tuesday for a three day diplomatic trip to the United States of America (USA). This is an addition to the diplomatic efforts that Pakistan has been making to improve its ties with not just the neighbouring countries but also the US. Our diplomats have visited Iran, China, and Afghanistan to ease down the tensions in the region.

This trip to the US to meet US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is one of the many attempts to revive the marred relationship among threats of banning aid, usage of drones in the territory of Pakistan, and putting sanctions on Pakistan. On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the US would try “one more time” to work with Pakistan before President Donald Trump seeks other options of dissolving Pakistan’s support to the militant outfits - like removing Pakistan from the ally list. Other US military officials have again accused our top intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of having links with the militants. Reaching a consensus will not be easy.

The US may have concerns but we need to look at the situation from a broader perspective and that perspective must accommodate the realities of the countries whose security is at stake. Our Chief of Army Staff (COAS) recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, in which several key aspects of regional security and improvement of bilateral relations were discussed. The trip was a huge success and a proof of Pakistan’s capabilities to resolve matters diplomatically. It was a reflection of Pakistan’s urge to rid the area of terrorism and play an active part in the process. The success of the meeting was a result of the culmination of efforts from both sides; which is very important in resolving matters.

Khawaja Asif’s visit to the US is along the same lines, and the US needs to understand that. They should acknowledge Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts instead of constantly handing out threats which challenge Pakistan’s sovereignty. They also need to understand that it is a two way process, and it will only work out if both the parties are accommodating and willing to understand each other’s position. In the case of the Afghan war, the US cannot have a monopoly over the decisions that are taken.

However, one can realise that the build-up in this case has been entirely different than that of Afghanistan. And it would be difficult to reach an effective compromise, but let us all hope that the foreign office can find some common ground to work upon.