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Pakistan’s China closeness resulting in rapprochement with the USA?



Pakistan has always enjoyed an important position in international politics due to its geographical location. Even though, Pakistan’s relationship with the US had deteriorated after Taliban’s rule began over Afghanistan. Simultaneously, the international relationship experts have also noted a growing and close relationship between China and Pakistan.

Presently, the Biden administration has approved a whopping $450 million F-16 jet fleet to Pakistan as a sustainment programme. This can prove to be an important tool for Pakistan to control and even eradicate terrorism at several levels. Pakistan’s political closeness and dependence for China might be a major factor to influence the US’s decision.

According to the experts, this move is not a random decision, rather might be a hidden message to India in response to India-Russia energy trade. Pakistan’s close dependence on China and India’s position on Russia-Ukraine war might have pushed the US in taking this decision.

For Pakistan, this comes as good news. Earlier 2022, Pakistan and the US’s relationship suffered a blow when the Taliban took over Afghanistan. This bitterness worsened when the then-Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan visited Moscow exactly on the day when Russia started its invasion to Ukraine. After the removal of Khan as the prime minister of Pakistan, he has made controversial comments regarding the influence of Washington behind his removal from office. The comment on the relationship between the US and the removal of Imran Khan did not create the situation any better.

Shehbaz Sharif, the present PM apparently values Islamabad-Washington relationship very highly. According to International Relationship experts, this ‘value’ is not merely based on Sharif’s personal preferences. It is rather a tool to have a cordial relationship with Washington which can prove to be beneficial for Pakistan. The timing could not be better, especially when it needs support from the United States to bag an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pakistan was not excelling in its economic condition recently. On top of that, the nation-wide flood pushed Pakistan closer to the dark depths of bankruptcy. This can explain the need for a relationship with the United States immediately. The US did not entirely disappoint Pakistan and many officials have visited the flood-affected areas since then. The Biden administration has also provided $66 million as aid to the victims of the recent Pakistan Flood. This is regarded by international relationship experts as an Olive branch from The United States to Pakistan.

The US has appointed Donald Blome as an ambassador to Pakistan in July 2022 after keeping the position empty for more than 4 years. These factors have strengthened the foundation for the US and Pakistan recently.

While the enhancing relationship between Pakistan and the United States comes as a fresh breeze for Pakistan, things are not looking exactly sunny for New Delhi. Many have seen the US’s decision about the F-16 deal as a hidden message from the US to India. The US India relationship is not a bed of roses right now mostly due to India’s decision to abstain from voting against Russia and continuing energy trade with Russia even after the start of Russia’s Ukraine invasion.

If the alliance blooms, India may have to look for allies elsewhere unless there is a stark change in the present scenario. However, spokespersons from The United States have rejected any such claims and stated that the US’s relationship with both India and Pakistan is not interrelated and are partners of the US with different dynamics and “different points of emphasis.”