If a week is a long time in politics, eight months is a lifetime. Last November Donald Trump blasted Pakistan, accusing it of duplicity and dishonesty. America’s faithless ally in the war on terror received billions in aid while not doing “a damn thing” in return, he snapped, in justification of his decision to cut military aid. Imran Khan, Pakistan’s own hot-tempered populist prime minister, then newly elected, shot back that his country was tired of being the scapegoat for American failures in Afghanistan. Pakistan would no longer fight someone else’s war, said Mr Khan.
Fast forward to this week: Mr Trump welcomed Mr Khan to the White House for their first talks face to face. American anger was replaced with soft soap. The president flattered the former cricketer, lauding him as an athlete and leader. Their future was bright, trade deals were on the cards and the flow of aid could be switched back on.