Pakistan and USA though for decades have been old so-called allies but never have had an ideal trust-worthy and mutually beneficial relationship. Relations between the two countries have become more tense and critical following President Donald Trump’s announcement of new US South Asia Policy focusing on Afghanistan and hurling allegations against Pakistan for not doing much against terrorists and militants. However, after this tirade by the US President, efforts are being made and contacts are being established to improve the strained relations. 

In this context, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Aizaz Chaudhry, has come out with a positive indication while speaking at a function in Washington. He stated that both Pakistan and US have started the process of engaging with each other at multiple levels to overcome the stalemate in their relations. According to reports he also said that both the countries have benefited whenever they have worked together, despite many ups and downs in their relations over the past seven decades. Also that hopefully current misgivings will soon be cleared and removed through positive and constructive engagements between Islamabad and Washington at both political and diplomatic levels. 

It is quite appreciable to note that bilateral visits of dignitaries at high levels and their meetings have paved the way to a great extent for engagement between the two countries striving to improve strained relations. During the last one month or so, meetings between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with US Vice-President Mike Pence on the sideline of UN General Assembly session in New York and our first full time Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif and Secretary of State for US, Rex Tillerson, are worth mentioning which have set the pace for continuing engagements which will be beneficial for both the countries. 

It is good that Islamabad wants to improve strained relations with Washington but at the same time process of balancing relations with US as well as China and Russia should also be continued to minimise reliance on the so-called old ally and keeping the national interests uppermost all the time. 

Z.RIFAT,  

Lahore, October 15.