The election of President-elect Joe Biden and his Vice-President Kamala Harris is most likely to end this vacuum of American policy for the region and engage with the region with strategic insight and assertiveness. Joe Biden was awarded Hilal-e-Pakistan, the second-highest civil-award of the country, and Kamal Harris has ancestral roots in India. The personalized nature of their relationships to both of these countries will indeed influence the interaction once the Biden administration leads the White House. However, in the spirit of previous American interactions with the region, the Biden administration’s interaction with South Asia will be clouded by two mega strategic matters: The rise of China and the Conflict in Afghanistan.
As the balance oscillates between the world powers, a storm brews, realigning the regional and global dynamics of nations everywhere. The acceptance of Israel by the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries is one such outcome. With Saudi Arabia likely to follow suit, the normalization of relations between the Arab states and Israel brings a serious blow to Pakistan in light of the religious rhetoric under which Pakistan defined its policy towards Israel.
In a world dictated by economic forces and military regimes, the conceptualization of soft power as an alternative power structure