After a protracted rocky period under the PTI administration, bilateral relations with the US are visibly improving. Washington has constantly insisted that the “Cablegate” scandal had nothing to do with Mr. Khan’s ouster, despite the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s explanation that it was an attempt by the superpower to topple his administration. It’s interesting to note that in an effort to “forget the past,” Mr. Khan’s party is reportedly trying to restore communications with America. The PTI government’s exit has caused previously chilly relations to quickly thaw. In May, the foreign ministers of Pakistan and the United States met in New York, and later that month, the first permanent American ambassador to Islamabad in nearly four years assumed his duties. More lately, Pakistan has welcomed several visitors from Washington to strengthen relations. Included in this group are the US special representative for business and commercial affairs and the assistant secretary of state in charge of international drugs and law enforcement.
There is scant evidence that the US masterminded the conspiracy to topple Mr. Khan’s administration, despite the fact that it has undoubtedly played a part in the formation and fall of regimes around the world. After all, cyphers do not destabilise regimes; other, more evil tactics, frequently involving spy services, are used instead. Unfortunately, the PTI used the Cablegate scandal to win over home voters and damage its rivals. However, this manoeuvre had a very negative effect on relations between Pakistan and the US. Rebuilding bilateral connections and addressing structural issues that prevent them from strengthening are now necessary.
To begin with, relationships must be founded on an equal partnership that emphasises respect, especially for sovereignty, and move beyond the transactionalism that has characterised partnerships since the Cold War. Pakistan, a developing nation, requires American assistance to reach its full economic potential. The US can assist in removing obstacles that prevent Pakistani goods from reaching American markets. Additionally, more American investors ought to think about investing here and utilising this nation’s human resource potential. Academic and other sector collaborations can also be advanced. The US should think about resuming the strategic consultation Pakistan wants. However, Pakistan should not accept orders from any foreign force, no matter how tacit they may be. The government and people of this country should be the only ones to decide with whom it trades and forms political and military alliances. No outside force has the authority to meddle in these matters. The US lecturing Pakistan about avoiding doing business with Russia or the “pitfalls” of CPEC but turning a blind eye when India does business with Moscow makes the use of a double standard obvious. As long as Pakistan is not compelled to choose sides in international power struggles, a revitalised, advantageous relationship between the US and Pakistan is worthwhile to pursue.