A one-on-one meeting took place between Chairman ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood and Ms. Hollie McKay, Journalist, FOX News on March 19, 2018. Pakistan-US ties, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s counter-terrorism policy were discussed in detail during the meeting.
Speaking about the current state of Pakistan-US ties, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood was of the view that while it is a subject of great debate and discussion, Pakistan-US relations are in a state of jeopardy. However, he said that while many may consider the current dynamics of Pakistan-US relations as a new development, he was of the view that it was more or less a continuation of the same US policy Pakistan has been witnessing since the time of President Obama. He said that although Pakistan-US relationship was an important one to both states, there are elements of divergence between Pakistan and US which clearly shows lack of trust between both the nations. Pakistan and US have been the most allied of the allies, yet, at the same time, Pakistan is being blamed for the unrest in Afghanistan. Ambassador Mahmood was of the view that the current tense ties between Pakistan and the US were counterproductive and detrimental to the interests of both countries. He said that instead of shifting the blame on Pakistan, the US should engage in constructive dialogue. He said that mixed signals were coming out of Washington, where one day there are praises for Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and the next day Pakistan is asked to do more.