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pakistan
Wednesday Nov 09, 2016
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Despite Trump, Pakistan-US ties unlikely to go haywire

Despite Trump, Pakistan-US ties unlikely to go haywire

Multiple weeks before the November 8 stunning result in the US presidential elections, a well-to-do Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin visiting Islamabad said he was worried by Donald Trump's views.

He was apprehensive the Republican candidate's recitalists, anti-Muslim tirade and his tough stance rearing immigrants may have spillover impact in Canada. He had come to Pakistan to prepare for a possible return with family to the country of his birth because of what he called "the gathering storm" amid Trump's aggressive rhetoric in the run-up to the electoral showdown with Hillary Clinton. Many of his friends and relatives tried to calm his concerns, asserting that all indications and media projections were largely dismissive of possibility Trump would win the race for the White House.  

But when the chips were down on the historic Tuesday, the voters swung in favour of Trump. They gave a resounding 'yes’ to the billionaire business magnet's calls --- shut-down on the entry of Muslims, expulsion of all illegal immigrants, building a wall to block Mexicans, knocking down the trade agreement with Mexico etc. Most voters from amongst the white majority liked what he had been saying and stood by him, including women despite Trump's reported reviling of the fair sex.

A commentator in the US remarked, perhaps rightly, that the Trump triumph was the result of a "white lash."

But the silver lining lies in the proven belief that what politicians publicly declare while barnstorming for votes is not necessarily what they would really do on taking the reins. Face to face with ground realities when in power they are influenced by exigencies of national interest and a host of other factors while introducing changes and new policies. A clear sign of this came in the victory statement of Donald Trump.

Pledging to heal "wounds of division" from the acrimonious election campaign, Trump stressed he would be president of all Americans and on the world stage deal with others fairly, seek partnership and not hostility or conflict.

What is in store for Pakistan-US ties under the New US administration? The history of their relationship has witnessed difficult periods as well as good, smooth cooperative spans. On the whole, the ties have reflected an inherent strength, the interests of both being somehow conjoined. Across the board, between administrations of democrats and republicans in the US, the bilateral relationship has seen fluctuations.

There are a number of issues in the region which are important in respect of implications that the US and the world at large cannot ignore for world peace. Pakistan played an important role as the US ally in the anti-Soviet occupation war in Afghanistan.

It has been aiding efforts to bring about peace reconciliation process in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban era. As forefront state in the global fight against terrorism, Pakistan has suffered the most. The US and other powers appreciate its key role, though their material support is not up to the desired level and expectations. There has been a convergence of interests on dousing flames of conflict in the Middle East and containing and eliminate the scourge of militancy and fanaticism of which self-styled Islamic State extremist group is at present a brazen manifestation. Pakistan looks forward to Trump administration paying due attention to flashpoint Kashmir dispute and exerting its influence towards a negotiated settlement of the festering row between two nuclear-armed neighbours. Also, the Islamic Republic hopes to see even-handed approach by the US so as to maintain a balance of power in the region in the interest of peace and stability.

Mr trump will be guided, as he has pointed out in his victory speech, by American interests, first and foremost.

Once in the office, there is a full-fledged and well-defined apparatus that will be there to sensitise him to existing realities.

One may rightly foresee sobering of personal ambitions of the tough speaking president-elect to prevent any rash or counter-productive moves, both at home and internationally.

 —The writer is Director News Geo News

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