As part of the continuing series of monthly webinars on various topics of political and economic significance, a webinar on “The Foreign Policy of the US under President Joe Biden” was held on January 24, 2021. It was organized by the Global and Regional Studies Center (GRSC), Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi. The moderator was Former Ambassador Ghulam Rasool Baluch. Among the panelists were Ambassador Najmuddin Sheikh, Fmr. Foreign Secretary, and Ambassador Javid Hussain, Fmr. Pakistan Ambassador.
During the opening statement, Ambassador Baluch said that days before the election the Capitol Hill was stormed by Trump’s supporters. This affected the soft power image of the US and its allies. He mentioned that bringing political unity in the US will be President Biden’s priority as his regime must address a plethora of domestic and international perils.
Ambassador Shaikh said that President Biden must focus on mending US domestic affairs. He mentioned that time will tell how much faith we can place on President Biden’s claim to rebuilding old ties. He viewed that Europe-US ties will play a fundamental role in determining US-Russia relations. When touching upon the Indo-Pacific Strategy of Trump, Amb. Shaikh said the Kargil episode handled by the then US government in consultation with India created trust between the US and India. He further mentioned that to counter the rise of China in the region, the US choose India as an ally. In this regard India was needed to develop pertinent expertise in nuclear fields akin to China and that it should be regarded as the counterweight to China.
Ambassador Javid said that Biden has a gigantic task of initiating economic recovery especially in the era of the Covid-19. When commenting on the US foreign policy, he shared that the China-US rivalry will continue as the US will challenge China’s economic rise. This will strengthen US-India strategic partnership. The US will also fortify its relations with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Amb. Javid said that President Biden will focus on multilateral decisions such as re-joining the Paris Agreement, issues of disarmament and is expected to take a tougher stance with Russia.
Amb. Baluch thanked Amb. Shaikh and Amb. Javid for sharing pertinent diplomatic insights on the topic. He was hopeful that these recommendations should be taken up by the government to develop a diplomatic course of action.