Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Washington on Tuesday for the highly anticipated official four-day visit; he was accorded a Guard of Honour by the United States armed forces at the Andrews Air Base. There are high expectations from the PM’s visit and there is hope that some major agreements will be signed. What we need to realize is that the success or the failure of Prime Minister’s visit doesn’t depend solely on his demeanor as a leader. The Prime Minister represents the entire nation; the harsh reality is that as long as we as a country are dependent on the United States for economic and military aid we won’t be able to put forward our case strongly.
The hope that our leaders can stand on equal footing with their American counterparts is something that won’t materialize as long as our economy is dependent on US aid. High expectations from the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are unlikely to come true as the fact of the matter is that we need the United States more than they need us. Diplomatic skills can only help to a certain extent in making the most of bilateral relations, at the end of the day what counts is the country’s economic strength. The stronger country always has the upper hand.
Also, sadly in our country there is a trend that opposition parties instead of backing the Government on foreign tours start highlighting the weaknesses of the Government, completely ignoring the fact that the Prime Minister is not representing his party but the entire nation. Similarly when you take a look at the Government, instead of focusing on the potential benefits of such an important tour, the Government seems more focused on making lofty claims of how successful the tour will prove to be.
Expectations from PM’s visit are high but we need to be realistic and keep in mind the ground realities.