In a surprising development, US President Donald Trump revealed that relations between Washington DC and Islamabad are now ‘very good’. He further mentioned that a meeting with Pakistan’s top leadership is on the cards soon.Historically, US-Pakistan relations have remained significant owing to somewhat converging interests pertaining to the Cold War and later the War on Terror. However, mistrust overshadowed the relationship to much degree for which both states could be partially held responsible.Nevertheless, recent developments are a positive sign for their ties. Especially when the Afghan peace process and de-escalation efforts for averting a war between Islamabad and New Delhi are taken into context.In terms of the peace process, the US and the Taliban have been meeting in Doha extensively in which Islamabad is playing a crucial role behind the scenes. The talks may be shaky, but it is evident that Afghanistan cannot be won militarily. Neither the US nor the Taliban can afford it any longer. Other regional stakeholders such as Beijing, Moscow and Tehran may have their own interests but in broader terms, stability in Afghanistan would lead to economic progression right across the Central Asian Republics (CARs).Hawkish elements within Kabul and the region have been trying their best to subvert any fruitful outcome but it looks like, they may fail given how the Ashraf Ghani regime is under strict scrutiny by the Trump administration, especially when diverging statements from Amrullah Saleh and Hamdollah Mohib are considered.However, any proposal for power sharing must be reviewed and implemented cautiously given past horrific trends of the 1990s.As for de-escalation process between Pakistan and India, the role played by Islamabad was in the best interest of the region. Of course, Washington, Beijing, Moscow and Riyadh had also been of great assistance in terms of multilateral diplomacy. Though the threat of conflict is far from over since the two states are still in a state of high alert owing to airspace and border restrictions, an emphasis on containing banned outfits has led to stricter oversight. Evidently, their assets have been duly frozen for good.As Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out, controlling banned outfits is the key to Pakistan’s progression as a responsible state. Islamabad must continue to play its role in this regard and implement the National Action Plan (NAP) in letter and spirit. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that India still hasn’t provided concrete evidence of any involvement of Masood Azhar in Pulwama attack, apart from a questionable dossier. *Published in Daily Times, March 23rd 2019.