Thursday, June 7, 2018

How to manage Pak-US ties

Ayaz Ahmed,

image from article

As Pakistan seems to have decided not to fall in line with the US South Asia strategy, the Trump administration will probably adopt more punitive measures to punish Islamabad economically and stymie it alignment with Russia and China in the region. At this critical juncture, the leadership in Islamabad should consult all foreign policy experts, relevant think tanks and seasoned academics of international relations to ensure that the country is safeguarded from the wrath of the wounded superpower. ...

The country’s leadership has also failed to understand the value of the global public opinion. Though it is imperative to win wars on the battlefield, it is equally important to dominate and influence public opinions across the world – especially in the West. On account of its adroit diplomacy and sound education system, India has defeated Pakistan on US talk shows and think tanks. Due to such Indian diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, the Trump administration is reluctant to accept Pakistan’s battlefield successes and sacrifices against terrorist and militant groups in the tribal areas.

In addition to political and military diplomacy, the country should promote public diplomacy in order to effectively project Pakistan’s positive image in Western capitals. Such an initiative requires greater interaction at the civil society level. What is needed is that Pakistan’s intellectuals, academic circles, experienced media personalities and diaspora need to be more active in their interaction with US think tanks such as the Brookings, Carnegie and Hudson institutes as these institutions play a significant role in shaping US domestic and foreign policies. ...

The writer is an independent researcher.

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