Pakistan eyes relationship with US based on trade, not aid

Pakistan eyes relationship with US based on trade, not aid

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr. Moeed Yusuf met his US counterpart Jake Sullivan in Geneva, where he reportedly presented him with a ‘Pakistani plan’ of the future of the Pakistan-US relationship.

Mixed reports emerged from the meeting that took place last Sunday regarding whether Pakistan had agreed to grant its bases to the US forces or not. 

Pakistan dismissed the possibility of allowing the United States to set up a military base on Pakistani territory to keep the operations against Afghanistan on from its soil. 

According to a Pentagon official, Pakistan allowed the US military to use its ground and airspace so that it can ensure its presence in Afghanistan. 

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Moeed Yusuf reportedly told his US counterpart that the Pakistan-US relationship is to be very different from what had been said as the past practice. The Pakistani plan seeks bilateral cooperation with its ‘war on terror’ ally and says that the bilateral ties should not be based on security and defence and instead should focus on economy, trade and business.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the Foreign Office came under severe criticism when reports emerged that Islamabad is negotiating a new arrangement with the US to facilitate its future counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan, a war-torn neighboring country. 

Qureshi rejected these reports as speculative and baseless. 

He told the Senate that the house and the Pakistani nation should be witness to his testimony that under PM Imran Khan, there will not be any American base on the Pakistani soil. He asked the nation to “forget about the past”.

The chief Pakistani diplomat uttered these words after U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a word with the country’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.  

The relationship between Pakistan and the US can be termed as a  ‘transactional one’ as Islamabad has long relied on Washington’s aid in return for its strategic support.

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