What are the Biggest Challenges in Fostering Trust and Cooperation between the Pakistani Public and the US Government, and How can these Challenges be Addressed?

Pakistan US Relations by Mehroz Zahid

CSS Pakistan Affairs | Pakistan US Relations

The following question of CSS Pakistan Affairs is solved by Mehroz Zahid under the supervision of Howfiv’s Pakistan Affairs Coaches. She learnt how to attempt 20 marks question and essay writing from Sir Syed Kazim Ali, Pakistan’s best CSS and PMS English essay and precis teacher with the highest success rate of his students. This solved past paper question is attempted on the pattern taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory and optional subjects for years, and uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

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2-Aerial view on Pakistan-US relations

3-Challenges in fostering trust and cooperation between the Pakistani public and the US government

  • Discerned actions such as drone attacks in Pakistan
  • Beliefs that there are unlike the treatment of constitutional rights and human rights
  • Geographical associations and directions
  • Spread of nuclear weapons in Pakistan

    4-Possible solutions to hold back these challenges

  • By promoting educational and cultural exchange programs
  • By ensuring that media outlets work together to promote a positive image
  • By expanding opportunities for trade and investment in mutually beneficial ways
  • By guaranteeing straightforwardness and responsibility in counter-terrorism tasks
  • By avoiding actions that are thought to be hypocritical


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Answer to the Question


The relationship between Pakistan and the USA has been marked by a blend of alliance and tension, with shifts in expectations and demands over time. From periods of close cooperation, Pakistan was titled as the non-NATO ally of the USA, to strained relations due to economic and military sections on the former by the latter. Due to this fluctuating relationship between the two countries, there has been a sense of mistrust and lack of cooperation between the Pakistani public and the U.S. government. Pakistani public feels that they are used just as proxies by the USA to attain its self-interested motives in South Asia; this prevailing mistrust of the U.S. government has implanted anti-American sentiments, which is a significant hurdle in developing cooperation between the two. Moreover, U.S. officials have always been worried about nuclear proliferation, as it is openly said by USA officials that they doubt Pakistan’s capability to protect nuclear arsenals and that it might fall into the wrong hands of terrorists. All this has strained the relationship between the masses of Pakistan and the USA, although taking some pertinent measures such as promoting cultural exchange programs and educational initiatives,  enhancing trade and investment opportunities for mutual benefit, and using media to curb Islamophobic and anti-American sentiments, can foster trust and cooperation between the Pakistani public and the U.S. government.

Aerial view on Pak-US relations

1947Diplomatic relations were laid out after Pakistan acquired freedom.
1950s-1960sAgreements on military assistance, cooperation in defence, and water sharing have been signed.
1970U.S. support during Indo-Pak clashes and Soviet intrusion into Afghanistan.
1980Pakistan received assistance from the United States to support Afghan mujahedeen in their fight against the Soviets.
1990Warrant forced over atomic multiplication concerns.
2001Pakistan becomes a crucial ally in the US-led war on terrorism (WOT) after the 9/11 attacks.
2004The U.S. made Pakistan a major non-NATO ally.
2011U.S. powers killed Osama Canister loaded in a secretive activity in Abbottabad, Pakistan, prompting a strain in relations.
2018Pakistan’s support for militant groups has prompted the United States to suspend its military assistance.
2019Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Afghanistan are made easier by Pakistan.
2021Concerns about the stability of the region and Pakistan’s role are being raised as the U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
2022The dismissal of Imran Khan amid public accusations of a U.S. conspiracy.

Challenges in fostering trust and cooperation between the Pakistani public and the U.S. government

  • Historical background and pervasive mistrust

One of the biggest challenges in fostering trust and cooperation between the Pakistani public and the U.S. government is the notion of mistrust due to historical baggage carried by both. The history of perceived betrayal is long; from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent U.S. involvement to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan for the war on terror and abrupt withdrawal, Pakistan was always treated like a scapegoat. History is evidence of the fact that Pakistan was titled as a major non-NATO ally of the USA to fulfil its own vested interest, and as soon as interests were fulfilled, economic and military sanctions were imposed on the major non-NATO ally. Thus, all these have built a wall of mistrust between the USA and Pakistan.

  • Perceived actions such as drone attacks

Also, drone strikes address one more massive obstacle in building trust between The Pakistanis and the U.S. government. The U.S.’s one-sided activity, for example, killing Osama canister Loaded, Activity Neptune, on Pakistani soil has every single stressed connection and filled questions among the Pakistani public as it has disregarded the power of the country. In addition to militants, numerous civilians have been killed as a result of U.S. drone strikes. For instance, from 2002 to 2020, U.S. strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen killed between 10,000 and 17,000 people, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ). It is estimated that between 800 and 1,750 of these were civilians. As a result, Pakistanis’ anti-American sentiments have increased as a result of these strikes.

  • Beliefs that there is disparate treatment of civil liberties and human rights

In addition, the discrimination that the United States of America engages in when it comes to human rights in its foreign policy has stoked the fires and increased distrust between Pakistanis and Americans. Despite being the world’s most prominent proponent of human rights, the United States has never spoken out against India or Israel, which are violating the rights of Kashmiris and Palestinians. Still, it has actively voiced its opposition to Russia, claiming that Russia had abandoned Ukraine’s human rights and liberties. The double standard international strategy has driven Pakistanis to scrutinize the USA’s earnestness and responsibilities to all-inclusive freedoms.

  • Regional partnerships and dynamics

Moreover, changing territorial elements and the development of coalitions play a crucial role in shaping discernments and perspectives toward US-Pakistan relations. American bias toward India, Pakistan’s main adversary, has upset the collaboration between the USA and Pakistan. Additionally, the United States of America despises Pakistan’s strategic partnership and the global power rivalry between China and the United States. Pakistanis frequently make the claim that the United States actively supports India, which not only upsets the power balance in the region but also fuels more insurgencies in Pakistan. Hence, it has muddled the endeavours to fabricate trust in light of common comprehension and shared interests.

  • Spread of nuclear weapons

Concluding this, atomic expansion addresses a relentless wellspring of pressure and questions among Pakistan and the U.S. government over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile. Since the assaults at the Wah cantonment, which feature the weakness of atomic weapons framework locales in Pakistan, Washington authorities have given proclamations saying that they don’t feel great about Pakistan concerning the security of nuclear weapons and that they dread that psychological oppressors can get their hands on them eventually. Albeit this multitude of faults is unmerited, the Pakistan unfamiliar office has more than once explained that “as a responsible nuclear weapons state, Pakistan supports the objectives of global and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.”   As a result, these factors contribute to the lack of trust and disagreement between Pakistani citizens and the U.S. government.

Possible solutions to hold back these challenges

As each issue has an answer, the difficulties of encouraging trust and collaboration between the Pakistani public and the U.S. government can be improved by going to a few logical lengths, as examined below.

  • By promoting educational and cultural exchange programs

Educational scholarships and cultural exchange programs have the potential to strengthen the relationship between the two. The USA had consistently offered grants to Asian nations. Tragically, every year, India obtains a large portion of the seats. In a positive effort to advance social trade, the USA has restricted Indians from applying for instructive projects, allowing other non-industrial nations to acquire present-day specialized schooling and serve their separate nations. In this way, instructive grants and social trade projects can play a turn job in fostering trust between Pakistan and the USA.

  •  By ensuring that media outlets work together to promote a positive image

Collaboration between the media also has the potential to reduce anti-American and Islamophobic sentiments. The media, the fourth mainstay of the state, must assume a capable part in making a positive picture for the two nations. The states ought to welcome notable media characters from the adversary country to create narratives and short movies displaying a positive picture of that country.

  • By expanding opportunities for trade and investment in mutually beneficial ways

A country’s economy is its foundation. For a developing country like Pakistan, financial manageability is essential. Both Pakistan and the United States would benefit from expanding trade and investment. It would give work valuable open doors, upgrade expectations for the everyday comforts of Pakistanis, and give another commodity market to the USA, consequently expanding its Gross domestic product development.

  • By guaranteeing straightforwardness and responsibility in counter-terrorism tasks

 Moreover, to construct trust and collaboration, straightforwardness and responsibility for all counterterrorist tasks should be ensured as they are significant for the power of a country. The USA ought to quit dealing with Pakistan as a substitute and deal with the nation as a partner. Furthermore, these technologically advanced drones must be used by the United States to target militants rather than civilians.

  • By avoiding actions that are thought to be hypocritical

 Last but not least, the U.S. government must refrain from safeguarding merely Israel’s and Ukraine’s human rights. Being a worldwide superpower, the USA should guarantee the right to self-assurance for all countries on the planet. Raising the voices of Kashmiris and Palestinians can be useful in laying out the trust of the Pakistani public in the USA.


In conclusion, the public’s mistrust of the U.S. government and Pakistan’s government is exacerbated by numerous obstacles that prevent cooperation. Among these difficulties, drone strikes by the USA on Pakistan soil, which is a reasonable infringement of the sway of the nation and the USA’s local coalition with India, have cultivated doubt between the two. Nonetheless, these difficulties can be countered by strictly executing measures, for example, changing from transient objective situated relations to long haul monetary association and elevating individuals to-individuals associations.

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