How Biden’s Presidency is Being Viewed in Pakistan

President Joe Biden started his presidency on January 20th with a powerful inaugural speech that reverberates across the continents. Here is one view from Pakistan.

Posted on 01/20/21
By Haya Fatima Sehgal | Via ViewsWeek
(Photo by jlhervàs, CC licensee)
President Joe Biden’s inauguration was pretty much awaited by the whole world. Not a single house, aware of International affairs, across our nation (Pakistan) went without viewing the ceremony. There was also no doubt to whether the rest of the world was watching or not. This time was a very different one than the rest, and millions around the globe have felt it. As President Biden gave his speech there was also little doubt that perhaps this administration could be the healing the country, and the world, needs. Vice President Kamala Harris was the star for millions across the world. She is the first African American Woman – The first South Asian, and the first woman to be the Vice President of the United States of America. The face of women’s empowerment today, she stands admired and respected. Following her inspirational story has been truly amazing.

President Joe Biden gave what one would call a sincere and heartwarming speech. He told not us things that only America but what the globe wanted and needed to hear. There were a few words that struck through and reminded us what America was for so many. “This is a great nation, and we are a good people.”  Simply put, yes.  Countries have witnessed this greatness and goodness before. We hope that America does right by other people across the world – now more than ever. As the world goes through the horrific global pandemic, and the current economic global meltdown, compassion and empathy, understanding and solutions are things we will all need.

Seeing the American flag wave as I watched the ceremony live, I remembered the way I felt back in ’95, just a freshman in college. That when the world and America were a very different place. A few years forward, 9/11 changed a world bringing many interactions to alter. After so many years one felt strong emotions through words heard of hope and faith all over again. Today in 2021 with the pandemic and so much chaos, this much is true, this world needs peaceful, solution-oriented leaders to get us through and lead by example.

It was not only through the rendition of the national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ (rendition by Lady Gaga) that rang throughout the world nor only the voice of the President. But the message of integrity of the new world that America is going to rebuild has emerged. A world hopes that peace is the actual mainstay of this administration for goals of multilateralism.  We need good news and what better way to get it is through the elected President of the free world. America’s foreign policies do affect the globe. Now, more than ever people are realizing how truly connected we are as human beings being part of a global village.

Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old inaugural poet said, “Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.” I agree. America was always great. It never stopped being so. Perhaps the goals were differently displayed, conveyed, and even waylaid at a point of time.  It has known several downfalls. But in all of this it has come back up again and still be the ultimate dream for other countries to emulate and follow. And moreover so, it is the people who make it strong and symbolize goodness. Another quote that stood out from her and is being quoted by many, “There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Wonderful words spoken by the young Poet Laureate.

President Biden’s use of words and speech are a clear indicator of what this administration will be about for America.  Perhaps it is too early to predict what they want in reality for the rest of the world. However, after watching the ceremony we woke up to some more news. The very next day we heard that President Biden rolls back on a few policies that had been put in previously. There is now a direction and a keen focus on Covid-19 and Health. America has refocused on Climate Change, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. They have revoked the national emergency declaration that would fund the construction of the Mexico border wall. And they have also rescinded the Muslim travel ban which had been put in for the select Muslim Majority countries. President Joe Biden has already signed 15 executive actions, all this while being quoted as saying “there is no time to waste”. This administration moves very fast for just being one day in! One can only imagine what goodness they will achieve in the months to follow.

Here is a hearty congratulations to the US as the new administration there takes the seat of power. Let there be light for those across the globe. Here in Pakistan, and I am sure other countries around the world as well, we wait with bated breath on their foreign policies and their efforts for peacekeeping. We have faith in America, that it will always do the right thing.

The writer is known for her articles on cultural impact.

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