A Tale of Siamese Twins
Let’s write a new chapter, one that maximizes Pakistan-U.S. relationships and epitomizes a bond that defies conventional boundaries, intertwining both nations and their people across numerous dimensions.
On this very auspicious day, I took to paper to share my personal perspective on the Pakistan-U.S. relations —an alliance that transcends conventional boundaries and encompasses a plethora of dimensions, each intertwined with significance and depth, hitherto not captured in its totality.
I state emphatically and unequivocally that both nations and their people are joined at the hip, like Siamese twins, inseparable in more ways than one. It is a deep-rooted, multifaceted bonding, which traverses socio-cultural spheres and goes beyond economic and defence spheres, thus creating a tapestry of interdependence.
As things happen, we eat at American food outlets, drink beverages imported from the United States, wear apparels made in the U.S., binge-watch Hollywood movies with pleasure, and find ourselves surrounded by scores of American products, widgets and gadgets as well as home appliances scattered all over the place. From burgers to foot-long sandwiches, fries to fried chicken, pizzas to soft serves, warm freshly-made waffles laced with 31 flavours, Colas, on-the-go coffee, donuts, smoothies and shakes are to name a few. Frankly speaking, we truly eat American foods with gusto. And let’s not forget the flip-flops, jeans, khakis, sneakers, untucked shirts, logoed T-shirts, and NY caps. Better to say, American brands are household names in a country like Pakistan too.
We are both downright capitalists by nature, and our mindsets are driven by capitalistic values. We strive to live the American dream, an aspiration fuelled by the allure of opportunities and freedom that the United States, the land of milk and honey, offers aplenty.
The U.S. is seen as a land of opportunities and freedom. If given a chance, let’s be honest, where would our youth want to migrate in order to free themselves from restricted and regressive values, to allow them realise and unleash their potential and to rid of class consciousness and conformist practices?
The economic front of the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. cannot be understated. Let’s not forget that near to seventy per cent of our exports go to the U.S., boasting the world’s largest consumer market. Built over decades, our strategic and defence cooperation is deep-rooted and far-reaching. It bears mention that as of now, six US presidents have graced Pakistan with their official visits, with the First Lady visiting the country in the early 60s. When all of them visited our homeland, democratically-elected political representatives were not governing the country, underscoring the undeniable bond we share.
This is serious food for thought that clearly demonstrates a bond with immense potential to grow and withstand the test of time without distractions.
The writer, Irfan Mustafa, a leading businessman of Pakistani origin, holds Business Administration degrees from IMD, Switzerland and IBA, Karachi.
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