Pak-US: up, down or around?

Mar 20, 2017

SINCE Donald Trump’s election, many in Islamabad have hoped that the tensions and friction in Pakistan-US relations experienced with the Obama administration could be avoided under Trump. This hope was kindled by the effusive call between Trump and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The policies of the new US administration towards Pakistan are so far unknown. Some of Trump’s campaign remarks about Pakistan were uncomplimentary; others were neutral; most were ill-informed. Given the myriad domestic and external issues that have consumed the fledgling administration, and the accompanying policy and personnel turmoil in Washington, formulation of policies towards Pakistan, or India, has yet to be seriously addressed.

Pakistan-US ties under Trump could go up, down or come around to past paradigms.

Pakistan’s new ambassador in Washington got off to a good start in his first remarks to the press, highlighting the common interest in economic and counterterrorism cooperation. Islamabad has been wise not to push its views on controversial issues publicly, given the US president’s penchant for doubling down on his positions once expressed.


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Dawn, March 20, 2017

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