It appears that our fears of our country’s doom, due to our most powerful and problematic ally Unites States’ recent threats and dismissal of Pakistan, were unfounded. There was a flurry of both panic and bravado alike, after Donald Trump’s announcement that the US would be cutting nearly $2 billion worth of aid to Pakistan, due to the US’s discontent with Pakistan not doing more against terrorists and their havens. However, it seems for the meantime that Pakistan is not as dependent on US aid as the US seems to think.

The World Bank says that economic growth in Pakistan is forecast to increase to 5.5 per cent in the fiscal year 2017-18, and reach an average of 5.9 per cent over the medium term on the back of continued robust domestic consumption, rising investment and a recovery in exports. – despite the furore of Pak-US economic ties.

Furthermore, observers that Washington’s freeze on billions in military assistance to Pakistan will have limited impact, thanks to its friendship with China and diminishing importance of aid to the economy note. Trump’s hostile tweet caused much flare, but the fact of the matter was the US had been cutting aid for a number of years, going back to the Obama doctrine. Pakistan’s decreasing dependence on aid makes the US threat of cutting aid not so different from what has been occurring for the past few years.

The hostility of US and its ineffectiveness is being noted and criticised by US think-tanks and Republicans themselves. Former American ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has argued that the Trump administration’s attempt at “humiliating and penalising” Pakistan for allegedly failing to take decisive action against militant groups hostile to the US is unlikely to work. Taking in consideration, that with hostility with Iran, the US’s route to landlocked Afghanistan is only through transit through Pakistan, and the harsh truth was that in the Afghanistan cause, and diminishing influence over the years, the US was more dependent on Pakistan than Pakistan relied on the US.

However, this does not mean we should not be on our toes. While Pakistan seems to be unperturbed by the break in aid and equipment transfer, there can be many more penal consequences, if the US uses its influence in IMF to call in its debts. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are sharply down, forcing the country to borrow if it wants to continue to grow. USA is still Pakistan’s largest market next to the European Union, and losing the US could mean losses in the EU as well.

Reasonable steps would be to continue but focus on reassuring the US companies in Pakistan of its continued support and that their interests remain well protected in every way.