ik1 - “Is this an Era of New Opportunities” in the wake of Khan and Trump meeting?
PM Imran Khan and President Trump at Oval House shaking hands

Well you have listened about how time changes moments and people. There is nothing like that stays forever. Likewise there is nothing constant in international relations except one thing which is “national interests”. Nations and their policies are widely governed by interests/benefits; most appropriately it is “Mutual interests” that converges the paths of two countries towards each other.

Talking about the recent meeting of PM Imran khan and President Trump, there was lot of buzz around; some political pundits regarded this as “meeting of unpredictable” whereas some says that it is resetting of US-PAK relations in a new way.

When Prime Minister Imran khan hold the office, Trump has sparked a twitter squabble and threw an eerily list of allegations on Pakistan in the November 2018. In his tweet he blamed Pakistan for her incorporation regarding the war against terrorism.

“We no longer pay Pakistan billions of dollars because they would take our money and do nothing for us. Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another”.

Comprehensively, the premier Imran khan answered the Trump’s tweet in these words:

“Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury, Pakistan has suffered in the US war on terror in terms of lives lost and destabilized and economic costs”

In addition, he said:

“He [Trump] needs to be informed about historical facts. Pakistan has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people and our interests”

Certainly, Pakistan has seen such a brave and bold leader after many decades. So there is kind of “tabdeeli” in the political and international picture of Pakistan. On the other hand Trump is regarded as most unconventional kind of president in his own country. So the results of this meeting were highly unpredictable yet can be gauged by the national interests of two nations like Trump writing the letter to Imran khan for meeting at US for the promotion of bilateral relations.

ik2 - “Is this an Era of New Opportunities” in the wake of Khan and Trump meeting?

At white house, US president greeted PM Imran khan with handshake. After a brief conversation, two leaders gave remarks at Oval House and answered the journalists’ questions.

The Afghan War

Mr Trump encouraged Pakistan in her efforts to help US with respect to withdrawal of US forces from US. He said, “Pakistan is helping us a lot now on Afghanistan.” He further clarified that he does not wish that US would be Policeman in region.

Mr Trump encouraged Pakistan in her efforts to help US with respect to withdrawal of US forces from US. He said, “Pakistan is helping us a lot now on Afghanistan.” He further clarified that he does not wish that US would be Policeman in region.

As far as Pakistan role in past pertaining to Afghanistan is concerned, Mr.  Trump criticized it and said that Pakistan could have done better. “We were paying $1.3 billion as aid for many years but the problem was that Pakistan — it was before you (PM Imran Khan) was not doing anything for us. They were really, I think, subversive. To be honest, we have a better relationship with Pakistan right now than we did when we were paying that money,” Trump said.

PM Imran vehemently said, “There is no military solution to Afghan war”. He reminded Mr. Trump that Pakistan had lost 70,000 people and billions of dollars due to the Afghan conflict which was instantly appreciated by Trump.

The crux of matter is President Trump has been realizing the importance of Pakistan with respect to Afghan Issue. In the previous months, Pakistan has played a tremendous role by setting a table talk for Taliban and US officials. PM PM Imran told Trump the only way out of Afghan crisis is peace deal and they have reached much closer to Afghan peace than ever.

US Mediation & Kashmir Issue

Surprisingly, Mr. Trump offered his mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue and mitigate the tensions between India and Pakistan. “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said. PM Khan appreciated Trump and said:

“There are over a billion and quarter people in the subcontinent, they are held hostage to the issue of Kashmir, and I feel that only the most powerful state, headed by President Trump, can bring the two countries together”

He also added that

“From my point, I can tell you we have tried our best, we have made all overtures to India to start a dialogue, resolve our differences through dialogue, but unfortunately we haven’t made headways as yet. But I am hoping that President Trump would push this process,” said Prime Minister Imran.

In his remarks Mr. Trump revealed that Mr. Modi wants US to be mediator in Kashmir Conflict. President Trump remarks cemented the fact Kashmir is disputed territory and India is unjustifiably occupied it. Of course, this is formidable success of the Pakistan at the international front.

Iran Crisis

While Mr. Trump is on the war horse regarding Iran crisis, albeit PM Imran urged US and Iran to curb the tensions. Mr. Trump In an interview at US Institute of Peace, he said that there will be adverse effects on the whole region and specially Pakistan if there would be war with Iran. Iran is not like Iraq. There will be much devastation and terrorism as an after-effect of US-Iran war.

Matter of Trade

The white house released a statement about US hopes to further its economic and trade ties with Pakistan. Plus Trump also added that he wants Pakistan to pour in its efforts regarding Afghan peace and to “do more”.

President Trump also said he wants to invest in Pakistan and expand trade 10, 20 times. “Pakistan is wonderful country. I have many friends from Pakistan”, Trump replied to a question. He said he had not been yet invited by PM Khan but he would love to visit Pakistan one day.

Unquestionably Imran khan emerged as very fine and matured leader in the US visit. It is anticipated that both the countries will extend bilateral ties and support each other in the arenas of economics and trade. As Lindsey Graham rightly concluded in his tweet:

“Tremendous business opportunities exist between Pakistan and the US through a free trade agreement tied to our mutual security interests,” is what really expected to precipitate.

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