Pakistan is looking to have stronger economic ties with the U.S. under the Biden Administration
Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security, wants a relationship between Pakistan and the United States based on mutual understanding, and not affected by other regional interests of the U.S. in the Joe Biden era. He expressed these opinions at a gathering of US policymakers at the Washington-based think tank Wilson Centre titled “US-Pakistan Relations in the Biden Era”.
Yusuf said that the conditions have changed over the years and Pakistan is now more or less free from terrorism. He emphasized that U.S. must stop looking at Pakistan from the Afghan Prism. The Special Assistant asserted that Pakistan is now on its way to economic success and ties must now be more focused on economy rather than military. He also said that working on the environmental front is a priority for both administrations.
“Pakistan is talking about becoming a geo-economic melting pot that is ready to consolidate global positive interest in our territory. We are talking about providing the world with economic-bases, not military-bases,” he said.
Discussing India’s role in the region, he called it a destabilizing factors with its Illegal Occupation of the Jammu and Kashmir and how it unilaterally took all the rights guaranteed to the Kashmiri people by the Indian constitution.
Biden’s past dealings with Pakistan
Joe Biden was the vice president during Barrack Obama’s presidency. He is well aware of the historical ties between the two countries. Biden was at the helm of affairs during a period when Pakistan was badly affected by terrorism and U.S was carrying out drone strikes. However, with peace returning to Pakistan, the focus can shift to economic ties rather than just military ones. Shah Mehmood Qureshi enjoyed a strong relationship with the Obama Administration as the foreign minister during Yousaf Raza Gilani’s government and this should help.
The Kerry-Lugar Bill (Biden-Lugar Bill)
The fact that Kerry-Luger Bill, which was originally the Biden-Lugar Bill, was meant to provide funds to Pakistan to educate the people in the remote northern areas of Pakistan and improve their economic conditions. Former Secretary of State John Kerry become associated with the bill after Biden became the vice president. However, instead of being used to uplift the social conditions of the people, that aid too came in for military purposes. Perhaps with the right direction of the discussion, Pakistan can strengthen its economic ties with the U.S., especially at a time, it is leaving Afghanistan.