Pakistan Usa Relations

Can the United States Afford to Ignore Pakistan? The Impact of Economic and Geopolitical Shifts

Explore the evolving dynamics of U.S.-Pakistan relations, the role of China, and the consequences of overlooking Pakistan’s significance in the changing geopolitical landscape.
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The Relationship Between the United States and Pakistan

Even though Pakistan has been an ally of the United States for several decades, it would appear that the United States is not concerned about the current financial troubles being experienced by Pakistan. Even while the nation has satisfied a few of the I.M.F.’s requirements, it has not yet received the much-needed tranche that may help it increase its foreign exchange reserves and alleviate some of its economic difficulties.

The Economic Challenges
Pakistan’s Debt Burden and Delayed Assistance

Just in June, Pakistan was responsible for making debt repayments of over $3 billion, likely to erode the country’s existing reserves severely. The International Monetary Organisation suggests that the delay is caused by the absence of financial reforms, which Islamabad is unwilling to implement. Others, on the other hand, think that the delay is more political.

The Geopolitical Factors
U.S. Pressure on Pakistan and China’s Role

Pakistan has a widespread belief that the United States and other Western nations aim to lessen China’s sway over Pakistan, even though Pakistan was an ally of the United States and other Western nations throughout the Cold War and the “War on Terror.” The United States is exerting pressure on the Pakistani government to maintain a strategic distance from China to take advantage of Pakistan’s difficult financial circumstances.

Challenges in U.S.-Pakistan Relations
India’s Role and Pakistani Perceptions

India was appeased by the previous administration of the United States, which offered it a deal in civil-nuclear technology. This occurred even during the war on terror when Pakistan was a frontline state experiencing the brunt of American policy. Many of the agreements reached by American businesses aimed to facilitate the formation of joint ventures between the commercial and manufacturing sectors of the United States and other countries. Additionally, Washington favoured India in strategic affairs, as evidenced by its decision to include India in the four-nation alliance ostensibly directed against China.

Pakistani Response and Shifting Alliances
Pakistan’s Pivot to the East

A Model for south-south Cooperation: Pak-China friendship, Key Bounds

This resulted in a perception being formed in Islamabad that the United States is not a trustworthy partner, which compelled Pakistani policymakers to shift their attention toward the East. Islamabad concluded that fostering regional cohesion was in everyone’s best interest, so it decided to cultivate relationships with Moscow and Beijing. More than $30 billion worth of Chinese investment was made in Pakistan as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which resulted in Pakistan becoming one of the main components of the BRI. Despite assaults by terrorists on Chinese citizens and other challenging circumstances, Beijing remained unfazed. It was able to complete the majority of the projects that were part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Now, at some levels in China, a rail route connecting project has also been proposed, and it has the potential to solidify further the ties that now exist between the two historic friends. The project is estimated to cost more than $50 billion and create a link between Balochistan and western China. If successful, the project might give an alternative route for Chinese firms that heavily rely on the Strait of Malacca. This is important because the Strait of Malacca appears to have a significant presence of American ships, which could cause difficulties for China.

The Consequences of Ignoring Pakistan
The Risk to U.S. Interests

After the communist revolution in China in 1949, American policymakers were dissatisfied that they could not pay China the appropriate attention. It would appear that the United States stands to lose one of its most trusted allies in a region where it already has a small number of friends if it does not pay sufficient attention to Islamabad. The American policymakers fail to understand the harsh reality of today’s multipolar world: smaller governments cannot be coerced into accepting any demand by exhibiting military muscles or great financial weight. This is something that the American politicians fail to understand.

The Importance of Recognizing Pakistan’s Role

The study of the history of international relations teaches us that it is not always the case that smaller states defer to the will of more considerable powers; instead, they develop policies that reflect their national interests. When World War I and World War II broke out in Europe, the smaller states of Western, central, and Eastern Europe linked themselves with various powers while keeping their respective national interests in mind. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Central Asian and some other governments of the region have also been exhibiting a predisposition to preserve their national interests. This is true of both Central Asia and these other states.

If the United States believes that Pakistan can choose a path of action that could harm its national interests, they are under the incorrect impression. Pakistan appears to still have several viable economic options, in contrast to the United States of America, which is rapidly running out of such choices. Pakistan can join the regional cooperation project, making it easier for the country to obtain inexpensive oil and gas from Russia and substantial investments from China. It stands to gain a great deal from the improved regional connection, which may also enable it to attract additional money in transit fees. Because New Delhi and Washington are so close to one another, the two countries competing with India can devise a plan to combat the threat posed by ‘saffron terror’ and a hegemonic India that aspires to dominate the region.

Because of the conflict in Ukraine, the United States appears to be ignoring this region. However, it is quite evident that it has virtually no allies in the region. Russia and China are frequently cited as the United States’ primary adversaries. In the halls of power in Washington, the influence of Iran is viewed with a degree of mistrust. Central Asian republics may not be interested in starting a conflict with the United republics. Still, they also cannot afford to anger Russia and would rather be subject to Moscow’s sway if given the choice.

The Afghan Taliban are more concerned with coercing concessions from whichever country will give them the best chance of success. They are not only cozying up to Moscow, but they are also attempting to gain investment from China to exploit the natural wealth located in the central and other portions of Afghanistan. The United States cannot rely on India since that country couldat times completely ignore Washington to protect its interests.

In light of these circumstances, Pakistan is the only country in the area that has not supported any particular global power. It would appear that Islamabad is trying to improve its relations with Beijing, Moscow, and Washington. It is not its intention to cause harm to the interests of the United States, but at the same time, it will not act in a way that is detrimental to the interests of any global or regional power. It is doing what any country state would want to do: preserve its national interests and maintain cordial ties with global and regional powers. This is something that any nation state would like to be able to achieve.

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