According to a former top Pakistani diplomat, the Biden government is likely to be pragmatic in dealing with Pakistan, urging Islamabad to act on terrorist issues and support America’s peace efforts in Afghanistan.
There may be a resumption of the strategic dialogue process with Pakistan, but it will not be of the same level or scope as it was during the Obama administration, former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani told Indian news agency Press Trust.
A Biden government is likely to be pragmatic in dealing with Islamabad. It will continue to work with Pakistan calling on Islamabad to act on terrorist issues, including the FATF, and to support US efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan. A Biden government is unlikely to resume payments for security assistance or coalition assistance funds, he said.
Coalition Assistance Funds are drawn from a monetary fund designed by the President and approved by Congress to reimburse counter-terrorism allies for additional costs in support of US hostilities at an additional cost beyond the normal military spending of that administration’s military.
In 2018, the Trump administration suspended security aid to Pakistan after failing to bring terrorist groups under control. On his first official visit to Pakistan in 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said he hoped to roll back relations with the Imran Khan-led Pakistani government after a period of sharp disagreement among long-standing security allies over Pakistan’s hosting of anti-Pakistan. Afghan terrorists.
Pakistan’s close ties to China, lack of democracy and disregard for human rights are not overlooked, said Haqqani, who is currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington.
Realizing that US President-elect Joe Biden and his advisors understand the importance of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, Haqqani said they might prefer to extend US troop withdrawal to really end the Taliban violence and use the extra time to put more pressure on the Taliban and Pakistan to ensure an agreement that is a peace deal, not just a withdrawal deal.
“Biden will listen more to America’s allies there, the government of Kabul, and not give in to the Taliban any further, as the Trump administration’s negotiators have done so far. Biden has publicly supported the maintenance of a counter-terrorism presence in Afghanistan,” he said former Pakistani frontrunner diplomat said.
The US has withdrawn troops from Afghanistan as part of a landmark peace agreement that provides for withdrawal by May next year under certain security guarantees, while the Taliban are holding peace talks with the Afghan government in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
The Trump administration signed a major peace agreement with the Taliban in February and set a schedule for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months to end the longest war ever.
Afghanistan, however, has seen a surge in violence, with the Taliban attacking provincial capitals and, in some cases, triggering US air strikes as the Doha talks sunk into delays.
A Biden government will continue to withdraw from Afghanistan and cooperate with Pakistan, but do so in a more nuanced way, Haqqani said.
Finding that Biden has a good understanding of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Haqqani, as chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and vice-president for eight years, said Biden understood the reasons for conflict in Afghanistan.
As the creator of the Biden-Lugar Act (later the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act), Biden saw billions of dollars in civil aid not change Pakistan’s strategic rationale for rejecting US efforts in Afghanistan. It is now unlikely that he will again provide massive security or economic aid to Pakistan, he said.
American public opinion supports a military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a Biden administration will continue that policy. But Biden is not going to back off by giving more land to the Taliban and will definitely take better account of the Taliban’s continued relationship with al-Qaeda, Haqqani said.
I first interacted with Joe Biden as a Senator and found that he is a man of empathy who seeks win-win relationships with other countries and puts America’s interests first, not just rhetorically, but also specifically, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)