The election of Imran Khan to the prime Minister office is no less than a glimmer of hope for the nation’s lost credibility in the comity of nations. Mr Khan however has assumed the charge of the office whence Pakistan confronts a few major challenges on the foreign policy front. For instance, Pak-US relations are on a constant course of hiccups whilst relations with Afghanistan have again entered the blame game phase. It is also imperative to mention that insecurity in Afghanistan is one of the major reasons for the deteriorating relation between Pakistan and US. Peace in Afghanistan could greatly be favoured and facilitated by Pakistan, but for that to happen, the trust deficit on the part of the US must seriously be addressed. US ought to undertake Pakistan’s efforts in curbing terrorism genuinely. The US at this point needs to understand that with the development of SCO as a viable alternative power centre fosters US diffusion as a global power by providing alternatives to countries like Pakistan. Furthermore, referring to some media reports, both Russia and Iran are engaging Taliban to counter the US influence in Afghanistan. Given these circumstances Pakistan is the only country over which US can exercise its limited leverage. US so far is the sole super power and there is certainly no defying of this truth and thenceforth Pakistan’s national interest lies in improving relations with Washington. Mr Khan has a longstanding stance for a peace process and political settlement in Afghanistan and for Mr Khan there is much more work to be done like sorting out the differences between the US and the Haqqani network , stability at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and reconciliation with the Taliban. Now, as far as Khan’s stance for a peace process and reconciliation with Taliban is concerned, the stars seems to be in favour for both the presidents, Trump and Ghani have come to more or less the same position as both favour and support direct talks with the Taliban. Mr Khan has already said that a peaceful Afghanistan is the pre-requisite for a peaceful Pakistan. Moreover, Kabul and Islamabad at this point should relate to the classic example set by India and China, where both the countries are willing to strengthen their economy and are trying to prove that adversarial relationships of the past and the territorial disputes have neither stood in their way nor stopped them from building and developing strong trade and economic linkages. Pakistan will always remain a problematic partner for the US, as long as US officials always look at it as a problem to be fixed, rather than a country to be engaged with Times have changed, Globalisation and economic development has revolutionised the world by large and the current geo-political rivalry rests in staying ahead economically, technologically, industrially and by maintaining domestic stability. Washington in this regards can play a beneficial role by opening the diplomatic channels directly with the elected democratic government. As Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit the country in this month, the encounter may help in easing the tensions between Washington and Islamabad. There also seems to be the realisation of Pakistan’s critical and pivotal role in any potential Afghan Peace Process that the US has been ignoring for so long in the past. Mr. Khan’s very first formidable challenge would be to put a halt to the ongoing sub-conventional warfare, which has scared the relations between both the countries. However, as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan now has an opportunity to energise a peace process, for he is the longstanding critic of the US occupation of Afghanistan and also an advocate of political reconciliation which has earned him the label ‘Taliban Khan’. With certitude it is now a tough job to translate election campaign promises into a reality. To conclude Pakistan will always remain a problematic partner for the US, as long as US officials always look at it as a problem to be fixed, rather than a country to be engaged with. Prime Minister Imran at this point has an opportunity to change such a notion once and for all. The writer is an Independent Researcher, he can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, September 4th 2018.