President Obama’s last State of the Union address didn’t exactly live up to its expectation, but it did hold an important insight in the future of Pakistan-US relations. Admittedly Pakistan is battling serious problems with militancy and extremism but the huge efforts and sacrifices we have made thus far were discredited one final time in the eyes of the American people as President Obama said that, “Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world – in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan…Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees.”

It is saddening to see that the distrust remains fixated in place, no matter how many times the US is reassured that Pakistan is doing everything in its power to tackle terrorism. It is likely that this relationship will only go awry considering the massive support Republican forerunners are gaining due to the fear amongst Americans post San Bernardino and Paris attacks. While saying that the Islamic State represented a serious threat, Mr. Obama did try to push down any notion that the terror group posed a threat to the US “national existence.”

It was clear the president wanted to lower the temperature of the debate on terrorism and the anti-Muslim rhetoric that had gained momentum of late.

Although he didn’t call them out by name, he did make clear references to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s comments on bombing out IS, saying that, “Our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.” It is safe to say that with his two terms coming to an end, we bid farewell to the last of the relatively tolerant world leaders. We need to prepare ourselves for an era of tumultuous relations with the US as his successor – whether a Republican or Democrat- is more likely to deal with Pakistan with more skepticism and mistrust than the “lame-duck” President, Barack Obama.