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A grounded affair

A grounded affair

Pakistan's general election of 2018 resulted in a spectacular outcome when the popular unconventional leader Imran Khan was voted to power and turned a fresh leaf in the politics of Pakistan with becoming its twenty-second Prime Minister. His ascension to the position of Prime Minister brought with it hopes of a fresh narrative, both inside and beyond the territories of Pakistan. While the known-too-well internal dynamics of Pakistan always raised a question on the effectiveness of his charismatic leadership, there has been looking afresh at relations with India in general, and matters in Afghanistan and especially the unrest and instability in Balochistan. Given the most recent event to bring the Pakistan Prime Minister in news is his visit to the United States to meet his counterpart, Donald Trump. It is a foremost interest of America to keep Pakistan under its wings for any systemic changes it wants to introduce in Afghanistan. The nearly two-decade long drawn war in Afghanistan is looking for ways to draw to a close but simply pulling out after destroying the country by turning it into a theatre of war cannot be the solution. The perils of such an impetuous move are that the vacuum left by a withdrawn USA in Afghanistan will make room for alternate anti-state and anti-social elements to develop and organise to function against the stabilising of Afghanistan. For this very reason, America needs Pakistan to keep the weaning of Afghanistan a smoother process and securing a deal to end the war. But matters took an eccentric turn when the incumbent Imran Khan made a maiden trip to the USA. The intention of this visit was to repair the acrimonious relationship between Pakistan and the US. In a deviation from common protocol, no top official was present to greet him at Dulles airport. Interpreted as a diplomatic snub, bilateral ties between the two states seem to be on a downslide. With his country in financial crisis, Khan took a commercial flight to cut expenses and later took a metro ride to the Pakistani envoy's house. Amid the interesting developments, the most remarkable highlight is the humble grace of the Pakistani premier who did not wear his ego on his sleeves.

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