The corridors of power in Pakistan must have collectively rejoiced when it became clear that Joe Biden was going to become the 46th President of the United States of America as the Imran Khan government hoped to secure a respite from Trump’s anti-Pakistan policies. However, little does Pakistan realise that it’s not the 90’s anymore and the country’s utility to the USA is now zilch and hence, it doesn’t feature on the USA’s priority list.
Much has been written about how during the Trump administration bilateral relations between Pakistan and the USA deteriorated massively, as Washington cut off its funding to Islamabad as it attempted to force Pakistan’s hand in acting against the terrorists who continue enjoying a safe haven in the country. However, with the advent of Biden administration, the Imran regime is hoping to yet again become a close ally of the USA with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urging the Biden administration to engage with a ‘changed’ Pakistan.
“In these four years, the region has changed and Pakistan has changed and you (Biden) have to engage with this new Pakistan,” said Qureshi.
He then proceeded to propagate his master, Imran Khan’s anti-India vitriol as Qureshi said, “India has changed. Is it the same shining and secular India? No.”
He added, “Voices from within India are confirming that it is not a secular state anymore. It is a new face of Hindutva, a new practical demonstration of the thinking of the RSS. Minorities in India are finding themselves to be insecure.”
Pinning his hopes on the Biden administration, Qureshi said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, his country hopes to engage with the new US administration with a “new approach and new guidelines”.
In a desperate move, Qureshi has also dispatched a letter to the Biden administration’s US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, where he has updated him about Pakistan’s so-called progression and trajectory of its current policies for the future.
There is a reason why Pakistan has high hopes from the Biden administration. Democrats are perceived to have a soft spot for it with Biden in the past in 2018, helping Pakistan to get access to $1.5 billion in non-military aid. Pakistanis in return awarded him the second-highest civilian honour in Pakistan of ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’.
Moreover, when American forces under the Obama administration killed Osama Bin Laden, Biden criticised the operation which was carried out by the US forces in Pakistan. 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”.
However, unlike the 90s, Afghanistan isn’t a burning issue, with the Trump administration brokering a peace deal in order to withdraw American troops from the war-ravaged country. India’s increasing soft power and goodwill in Afghanistan has reduced Pakistan to a mere bystander when compared to Afghanistan and hence, the USA has absolutely little or no use of the “new” Pakistan which is increasingly becoming a client state of the USA’s numero uno enemy: China.