Fri, 16 Apr 2021

Pakistan receives lukewarm response from US

07 Apr 2021, 04:56 GMT+10

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 6 (ANI): Pakistan is attempting to have ties with the United States that are based on economic support rather than driven by security cooperation, but this approach has been met with a lukewarm response from the Joe Biden administration.

Despite Islamabad striving for a transformation of US-Pakistan ties to one based on economic cooperation, the Biden administration has given a cold-shouldered response, The Express Tribune reported citing officials.

Pakistan's new approach includes enhanced trade ties and cooperation in energy and climate change. However, Biden has not spoken to Prime Minister Imran Khan despite being in the office for over two and a half months, whereas the US President has already communicated with the heads of Afghanistan and India, Pakistan's neighbours.

Biden is yet to establish a direct contact with Imran Khan even after requests from Pakistan. Biden's administration has also not extended an invitation to Pakistan for the climate summit to be the held in the US later this month.

According to the Express Tribune, Imran Khan was puzzled by this 'cacophony' for not inviting Pakistan to the summit.

Furthermore, Biden's special envoy on climate change John Kerry also skipped Islamabad while visiting other countries in the regiion such as UAE, India and Bangladesh. Pakistan was also ignored by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin when he travelled to India and Afghanistan.

Officials privately acknowledged that the Biden administration was not giving encouraging signals, according to The Express Tribune. One of the reasons is the outrage among the new US administration over the acquittal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who allegedly murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl.

The deepening US-China rivalry is likely to further prolong Washington's cold-shouldered approach towards Islamabad.

"Yes, we have time tested relationship with China. CPEC is central to our development yet that doesn't mean we should be seen through the Chinese lens," said an official explaining Pakistan wants to pursue a policy that avoids being a proxy in the China-US tussle.

Pakistan is currently facing a dilemma as it seeks to build economic ties with the US without hurting relations with China. (ANI)

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