US policy of coercion transforming into cooperation: Qureshi

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday said that under the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf

(PTI)-led government the US policy of coercion towards Pakistan is gradually transforming into one of


Speaking at a conference on ‘Pak-U.S. Relations: The Way Forward’ organized by the Islamabad Policy

Institute (IPI), Mr Qureshi stated that both countries are gradually moving towards a mutually beneficial,

constructive and cooperative approach in bilateral relations.

During his key note address, Foreign Minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first visit to the US

offers the leadership of both countries new opportunities towards resetting the bilateral relationship and it

will also enable Pakistan to build its narrative and counter Indian propaganda.

U.S. has appreciated Pakistan’s key role in facilitating the process of intra-Afghan and regional dialogue, he


The next session delved into four key aspects of the Pak-U.S. relations that encompassed diplomatic, security

and economic dimensions of the bilateral ties. Former Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry analyzed the

diplomatic aspect, former Secretary Defence Lt. Gen (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik reviewed the security relations

while Muhammad Kamran Nasir, Chief Executive Officer of JS Global Capital Ltd evaluated the economic

dimension of the relations. Former Secretary National Security Division Amb (Retd) Muhammad Sadiq, who

chaired the session, deliberated on Pak-US cooperation for peace in Afghanistan and prospects of peace deal.

Amb Aizaz Chaudhry stated that U.S. perspective towards Pakistan is shaped by the Afghanistan lens and

increasingly from the Chinese lens. Therefore, it is important for Pakistan to impress upon U.S. leadership

that Islamabad’s relations with China are not poised against any other State. Both countries must attempt to

revive and sustain bilateral dialogue process to deepen the relationship.

Lt General (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik said that Pakistan’s future policy towards the United States must be

guided by history. He said foreign policy must advance economic interests as the main guarantor of national

security. Military to military relations should not be the main driver of the bilateral relationship with US, he


Mr. Kamran Nasir stated that Pakistan must build an export-led economy but that will require major

structural reforms. CPEC, he noted, represents investment in communication and energy sectors by China but

a significant part of technical support is coming from US companies like Caterpillar and General Electric.

Islamabad, he said, can benefit from the American technology in the agriculture sector for improving crop

yields and significant export opportunities in the IT and telecom sectors.

Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq cautioned about the prospects of peace in Afghanistan. He stated that the

conflict in Afghanistan has created a new elite that has no interest in peace in the country. He feared that even

if all parties agree to peace but its implementation will remain a big challenge particularly if a single ethnic

group dominates the others.

In his concluding remarks Syed Muhammad Ali said Pakistan must pacify the U.S. leadership that its

relationship with China is not against the United States. In contrast, Washington’s Indo-Pacific policy is both

unrealistic towards India and dangerous for South Asian strategic stability and peace. U.S. policy towards

South Asia deserves a timely review in order to ensure lasting peace, security and stability, which is in

Washington’s interest.

Earlier, Executive Director IPI Prof Sajjad Bokhari said that for a meaningful change in the complexion of

bilateral ties, US needed to review its Indo-Pacific Strategy, address Pakistan’s security concerns, and stop

seeing China-Pakistan relations, particularly, CPEC as a challenge. He underscored that both sides must

recommit to the principles of mutual respect and finding common ground on issues of mutual interest.