Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States. The Associated Press has called the race in favour of the Biden campaign which means that after four successful republican years a democrat president returns to the White house. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s victory will usher a new era for the US foreign policy from the Trump era. Pakistan seems to be celebrating this victory as it feels that it’s a ray of hope for them after four years of being rightfully neglected.
The democrats have always favoured Pakistan over India but with new power circles and changes in the International structure since Obama, it will be interesting to see whether the same cordial relations with Pakistan remain intact.
Trump’s policies had ranged from banning Muslims to preventing economic aid to Pakistan. He was an infamous leader among the Pakistani-American diaspora. Thus, Biden’s victory is being touted as a major victory for Pakistan in the United States.
Pakistan has a history of cordial relations with Joe Biden. In 2008, Biden helped Pakistan to get access to $1.5 billion in non-military aid. Pakistanis awarded him the second-highest civilian honour in Pakistan “Hilal-e-Pakistan”.
Moreover, when American forces under the Obama administration killed Osama Bin Laden, Biden criticized the operation which was carried out by the US forces on Pakistani territory. But, will things remain ever so cordial between the Democrat President and Pakistan remains to be seen as there have been massive shifts in the Asian power circles and the US’s foreign policy in regards to the “Indo-pacific”.
India-US relations have solidified with several military and civilian partnerships. The Quad and various military pacts with India like the COMCASA and the BECA, topped with Mike Pompeo’s visit to India and the USA’s support to India’s cause in the region had solidified the relations between the two powers.
Moreover, Pakistan increasing closeness to its Chinese masters will not be looked upon favourably by the US administration regardless of the person sitting in the White house. Pakistan stands at the cusp of becoming a Chinese colony which will be a major roadblock to the US’s “Indo-Pacific” policy.
China is the US’ biggest immediate threat, therefore, any help provided to Pakistan will indirectly aid the authoritarian regime in Beijing. Besides, the US would be unwilling to put aside its strong presence in India to kick start its relations with a Chinese controlled Pakistani state.
China’s emergence as the US’s major competitor will severely impact the US-relations with Pakistan. No sitting US president would want to lose to its direct competitor in the international power structure by brokering a deal with a terror-sponsoring nation.
The citizens of the United States view China and Pakistan very unfavourably. Even more due to the current pandemic which was ridiculously let loose by China. Also, Pakistan’s closeness to China and its history of harbouring terrorists on its territory have severely impacted its popularity in the United States.
Pakistan’s hope of economic and infrastructural development is tied to its relations with China and the Arab world. Therefore, instead of celebrating a Biden victory, Pakistan should look to mend some ties and take advantage of the peripheral position it stands in these relations rather than advocating for US aid.
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