With Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US ending with many plaudits received at home for how the two leaders got along, it is important to temper our expectations and not start expecting a trade and aid windfall now that relations with the US have seemingly hit a more positive note.

The Prime Minister should indeed be commended for the way he carried himself throughout this visit, the joint press meeting saw President Trump talk about all the right issues from Pakistan’s perspective; increased trade, resumption of aid and a mention of Kashmir as well. Discussions with investors on the side, an event held for expatriates and press obligations have made this a successful tour for the Prime Minister and his party; as newcomers into government, their ability to kickstart soured relations anew is quite clearly an advantage in this case.

Amidst all the jubilation though, it is important to remember that the expectations from the US side have not changed, the Trump Administration is merely willing to wait and see how far this new government will go in meeting these expectations before delivering on any of its own promises. Pakistan’s relationship with the US has never been one-sided even though the latter would state otherwise. Although the oft-repeated ‘do more’ mantra was not heard during this visit, the situation has not changed much, which is why the Army and spy chiefs were also part of the Pakistani delegation.

Any increased trade or resumption of the 1.3 billion security assistance will come with the added caveat of Pakistan getting more involved in the Afghan peace process and acting tougher on terror groups were expectations from the US side that will now have to be met. This means that the only thing that has changed is the initial attitude in dealing with one another; a personal relationship between the Prime Minister and the President of the US will help in keeping things amicable but will not do much towards improving economic ties between the two countries.

Even if Pakistan holds up its end of the bargain there is no guarantee that the US will honour its own; it is far too early to assess how things will progress over the next few years. But both sides have let each other down before, and it will be quite amazing if not only Prime Minister Khan but President Trump also sticks to his word and honours the commitments that were alluded to in this initial meeting.