In present times, no two countries can remain isolated from each other. The recent thaw in the ties between the United States (US) and Pakistan attests this fact. The Trump administration is once again looking for a fresh start in establishing its relations with Islamabad. The ties between the two sides went sore when Pakistan had tried to remodel its foreign policy according to its national interests. The US President Trump responded to the paradigm shift in its foreign policy with a New Year tweet calling Pakistan a country that had “given [the US] nothing but lies and deceit”. But the Trump administration’s desire to give a new start to relations with Pakistan informs the world about Pakistan’s importance in the international community. The recent US interest in resuming its engagements should be analysed while keeping the geopolitical considerations of the region in mind.

Washington wants to reconnect with Islamabad for furthering its national interests; Pakistan should also do the same. There is no need for Pakistan to play the lead role in any American plot until and unless its interests demand so. The new developments in this regard are welcome, as Kashmir is still a major talking point in the US-South Asia relations. However, if we look beyond the diplomatic platitudes, the US still backs the Indian stance on Kashmir. Islamabad needs not to be fooled by the US acknowledgements of atrocities in the occupied vale of Kashmir. Pakistan needs to be cognisant of the fact that the US sees India as a significant emerging economic power and a potential market for its manufacturers and also as a strategic partner.

Therefore, Islamabad should not settle for these statements as diplomatic victories or successful presentation of Kashmir on international forums. As said above, the reason behind the US desire for a fresh start in ties with Pakistan is the geopolitical considerations. Hence, the government need to deliberate on how can it reap maximum benefits from the latest developments in the bilateral ties. Islamabad embarking on this new path of relations with the US will test the government’s ability to manoeuvre the whole scheme in its favour. The US wants Islamabad to play its role in not only finding a negotiated political solution for the Afghan conundrum but also convincing Iran to give up its antagonism against the US. Pakistan should then ask the US to force New Delhi to agree to settle the Kashmir problem according to the resolutions of the United Nations (UN).