Pakistan needs friends; not enemies. We cannot afford a worsening of diplomatic relations with any foreign country. It is a matter of fact that America is a superpower and it will be not in the interest of Pakistan to have a confrontation with the White House administration keeping in view our already fragile economy. We are a developing country and, therefore, we have to rely on both foreign aid and trade for the growth of our economy. There are many highs and lows in the foreign relations between Pakistan and America and it has a long history spanning over decades. Once again, the Pak-US relations are being discussed in every nook and corner of the country. It all started when former ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) connected the no-trust motion against Imran Khan with a “conspiracy” hatched by America. The claim of PTI is fast proving to be a pack of lies. The newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has also ruled out any such “American Conspiracy” that was hatched to oust Imran Khan. In his maiden speech, Shehbaz Sharif categorically said that he will resign from his office if any such conspiracy proves to be true. The White House has also rejected any such conspiracy in loud and clear words while vowing to keep supporting democracy in Pakistan. Imran Khan has damaged the foreign relations of Pakistan with America with his irresponsible statements. There is a long history of Pak-US relations. Pakistan was a close ally of America during the times of the Cold War and it was Pakistan that played an important role in developing relations between China and America. The Soviet Union was also defeated with the collaboration of both Pakistan and America when it tried to invade Afghanistan. Pakistan also supported America in the aftermath of 9/11 during the war on terror in Afghanistan. Pakistan also faced a loss of billions of rupees and sacrificed thousands of lives during this war. America, meanwhile, kept supporting Pakistan financially during this time and injected billions of dollars into our economy. According to a report, America gave foreign aid of around 19 billion $ to Pakistan during the regime of Parvez Musharraf only. An amount of seven billion dollars was given to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar Bill from 2010 to 2015 to support our economy. It is a reality that America is a superpower and it has the largest economy and, therefore, it is imperative that Pakistan should formulate its foreign policy keeping in view our needs and a struggling economy. Both countries should keep aside their differences and move forward as it will help them both. There are millions of Pakistanis working in America and they regularly send foreign exchange here that works as a booster for our economy. Similarly, there are a large number of students who are working in American universities. Just recently, America sent free doses of COVID vaccine here in Pakistan to help our people during the hard time. So, it is the need of the hour to stop levelling baseless allegations on America and should move forward. There is also a need to maintain a balance between America and Russia. It should not be part of our Foreign Policy to take sides in the Russia-Ukraine war. It is a reality that Ukraine cannot compete with Russia both financially and militarily and it is also against the policy of Pakistan to support any foreign aggression. Imran Khan has damaged the foreign relations of Pakistan with America with his irresponsible statements. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the new government and the military leadership to mend our ties with America. Our relations with the US must be restored immediately as it is a superpower having a strong economy. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has also said just recently that Pakistan doesn’t want animosity with America. Speaking at a ceremony, COAS said that Pakistan doesn’t want to be a part of any bloc as we want better relations both with America and China at the same time. He also said that Pakistan is a close strategic partner of China and CPEC is a glaring example of it. Similarly, he said that Pakistan has a long strategic history with America which also has a huge market for our commodities. He was of the view that Pakistan wants to expand its relations with both countries without losing anyone of them. In the same ceremony, COAS said that Pakistan doesn’t support the Russian aggression on Ukraine and this issue must be resolved amicably. The political rulers of Pakistan should also adopt such a foreign policy as it will be in the interest of the country. It is need of the hour that our relations with America must be mended immediately and it should be a top priority of the newly elected government. Our financial program with the IMF is also just around the corner and it will be in our interest to have good relations with the US in getting the best offer for us in the coming days. Our economy needs friends; not enemies. The writer is an old Aitchisonian who believes in freedom of expression, a freelance columnist, entrepreneur and social activist.