اردو(Urdu) English(English) عربي(Arabic) پښتو(Pashto) سنڌي(Sindhi) বাংলা(Bengali) Türkçe(Turkish) Русский(Russian) हिन्दी(Hindi) 中国人(Chinese) Deutsch(German)
Sunday, July 21, 2024 21:05
Question of Palestine Eternal Wisdom: Iqbal Building Futures: Empowering Pakistan's Youth for Tomorrow Tourism: An Essential Element for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Connecting Youth to Global Opportunities Algorithms: The Silent Architects of Warfare Pakistani Youth: The Driving Force for National Progress Investing in Future Generations: Pakistan Army Lost Voices: The Systematic Marginalization of Indian Muslims Parallel Struggles: Examining the Palestinian and Kashmiri Quests for Self-determination Emergence of BJP as a Hindutva Force The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Transforming Pakistan Building Sustainable Cities: Urban Search and Rescue Preparedness Simulation Exercise In the Pursuit of Happiness: Understanding Hedonia, Eudemonia, and Naikan COAS’ U.S. Visit: Strengthening Ties and Fostering Collaboration A Biological Marvel of Human Heart Educational Empowerment: FC Balochistan (North) Initiates Literacy Program for Soldiers Digital Pakistan Journey: Pioneering Towards a Connected Future Driving Digital Transformation: Pakistan CJCSC Calls on His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussain During His Visit to Jordan COAS' Peshawar Visit Highlights Security, Socioeconomic Development and National Unity Unity in Diversity: COAS Joins Christmas Celebrations with Christian Community in Rawalpindi Chief of the Naval Staff Attends Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Bangkok Strengthening Bonds and Elevating Collaboration: Combat Commander Turkish Air Force Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Closing Ceremony of Multinational Special Forces Exercise Fajar Al Sharq-V Strengthens Counterterrorism Collaboration Off the Beaten Track: Exploring Jiwani's Coastal Marvels and Heritage Special Investment Facilitation Council: A Game Changer for the Economy of Pakistan Rising Stars: Pakistan’s Youth Shines Bright in 2023 Indian Supreme Court’s Decision and the International Law Challenges to Justice: The Indian Supreme Court’s Fallacy in IIOJK Belt and Road Initiative: Strengthening Global Ties with Unhindered Trade and Connectivity The Media Matrix: Unraveling How Technology Shapes Our Perception Decoding Human Interaction: The Comprehensive Guide to Reading Body Language The Magic of Moscow On the Same Wavelength: Suno FM's Impact on Community Empowerment, Diversity, and Social Progress in Pakistan The Journey of SAIL: A Beacon of Hope for Autism in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan National Youth Convention 2024: COAS Stresses Youth's Vital Role, Urges Unity, and National Strength Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Calls on COAS COAS Attends Inauguration Ceremony of the Second Chapter of NASTP Silicon PAF's Induction and Operationalization Ceremony Showcases Technological Advancements and Operational Excellence COAS Witnesses Firing of Different Air Defense Weapon Systems During Exercise Al-Bayza-III, 2024 COAS Visits POF Wah, Highlights Importance of Indigenous Defense Industry Exercise Sea Guard-24: Strengthening Maritime Security Al-Noor Special Children School and College Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023 in Multan Garrison Exercise BARRACUDA-XII: Strengthening Global Cooperation for Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection Pakistan-Qatar Joint Aerial Exercise "Zilzal-II" Held in Qatar March 23, 1940: Charting the Course for Pakistan's Future Peshawar’s Namak Mandi: A Gemstone Heaven Genocide in Palestine Rising Cities, Shrinking Spaces: Tackling Overpopulation and Urbanization in Pakistan Impact of Pakistan Resolution Day on National Identity Building Leaders: Jinnah and Iqbal's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Youth National Parks–Natural Assets India's New Playbook for Extraterritorial Assassination of Opponents The Legacy of Khan Brothers in Pakistan Armed Forces (Part II) Beyond the Battlefield: AIMH’s Quest for Military History Preservation The Siege of 634 A.D. (Part II) SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part II) A New Dawn in Pakistan's Agriculture The Crowdsourcing Practices The Last Post: Eulogy of a Hero Securing Tomorrow’s Food: Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture in Pakistan The Saindak Copper-Gold Project: A Beacon of Pak-China Friendship and Prosperity Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and COAS Visit Muzaffarabad CJCSC Calls on Minister of Defense, KSA 7th International PATS Exercise-2024 Held at NCTC, Pabbi CNS Visits Coastal Belt of Sindh and Coastal Areas of Balochistan to Oversee the Conduct of Exercise Seaspark-2024 Keel Laying Ceremony of the Second HANGOR Class Submarine Held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Chinese Ambassador Calls on Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Navy Demonstrates Combat Readiness with Live Missile Firing Exercise in the North Arabian Sea PAF's Jf-17 Thunder Block-III Fighter Jet Participates in World Defense Air Show-2024 A Day of Celebration and Global Solidarity: Pakistan Day Parade 2024 Gaza: A Tragedy Beyond Words Better Late than Never... Escalating Tensions: India's Violations of the Indus Waters Treaty Preserving Pakistan Pakistan Day Parade-2024: A Celebration of National Unity and Strength Demolition of Muslim Properties in India: A Weapon of Choice and State Policy Sustainable Energy Transition: Strategies for Pakistan’s Shift towards Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency The Impact of Climate Change on Global Health: Building Resilient Health Systems SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part III) Emerging from the Depths: The Pakistan Army Dedicated to Promoting Tolerance and Diversity: Pakistan Army, in Collaboration with the University of Peshawar, Hosts a Successful Grand Peace Fair Pak-Saudi On Job Training 2024 CJCSC Addresses SCO Military Medical Seminar 2024 on Challenges in Military Medicines Loyalty, Honor, Duty: The Pivotal Role of Pakistan Armed Forces in Upholding Peace and Security From Darkness to Light–One Year On: Contemplating May 9, 2023 to May 9, 2024 Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors Global Perspectives on Content Regulation: Examining Network Enforcement Act and Disinformation Laws The Issue of Palestine: A Historical, Religious, and Humanitarian Perspective Modi’s Guarantee and Hindutva Incorporated Divide and Conquer: The Dangerous Surge of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Indian Politics India's Hybrid Warfare in Kashmir India: Where the Price of Protest is Death! Pakistani Peacekeepers and the International Peacekeeping Day Empowering Pakistan: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Energy Autarky Overpopulation: Navigating Challenges and Charting Solutions for Pakistan Pakistan and Saudi Arabia Friendship: Dawn of a New Era SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part IV) A Tale of Two Sultans: Brigadier Sultan Ahmed, SJ & Bar (Part II) In the Footsteps of Valor: A Journey through Peshawar Garrison Pakistan Military Academy Passing Out Parade-2024 CGS Turkish Armed Forces Calls on COAS Green Pakistan Initiative Conference Highlights National Commitment to Agricultural Innovation and Economic Growth Commander Turkish Land Forces Calls on COAS Minister of Foreign Affairs, KSA, Calls on COAS Assistant Minister of Defense, KSA, Calls on COAS PAF Academy Asghar Khan Hosts Prestigious Graduation Ceremony for Aviation Cadets Faculty and Students from Muzaffargarh Government Post Graduate College Visit Multan Garrison SIFC's First Year: Transforming Pakistan's Investment Landscape SIFC’s First Birthday SIFC Building an Investor SIFC, From Vision to Reality (Part V) : Driving Growth in Industry, Tourism, and Privatization SIFC and Pakistan’s Economic Landscape: A Year in Review Chinas Transition from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 Social Media in Pakistan: Balancing Risks and Governance for National Security Indian Ambitious “Make in India” Approach for Defense Production: An Appraisal India s Bold Shift: Extraterritorial Killings and Regional Instability as the New Normal Charting a Path Towards Water Sustainability: Pakistan Comparative Analysis of IQ, EQ, SQ and AQ Harboring Opportunities: The Socioeconomic Benefits of Gwadar Port Development for Pakistan and the Region From Gridlock to Green Lanes: OLMRTS Drive Progress Evolution of Multan: A Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future Empowering Tomorrow Embracing Tradition: Welcoming the 17th Entry to Military College Sui Balochistan Champions of the Desert: Balochistan Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Girls Cadet College Turbat Hosts First Passing-out Parade Secretary General of Defense and National Armaments, Italy, Calls on CJCSC U.S. CENTCOM Commander Calls on COAS Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on COAS Turkish Foreign Minister Visits COAS COAS and CGS UK Army’s Address at 6th Pakistan-UK Regional Stabilization Conference GHQ Investiture Ceremony Held at General Headquarters COAS Extends Condolence to Iran Following Helicopter Crash That Claimed Top Officials CNS visits PLA (Navy) Headquarters China CNS Attends 19th Western Pacific Naval Symposium CNS Attends the Launching Ceremony of 1st HANGOR Class Submarine CAS Calls on General Secretary of MOD and Commander of Iraqi Air Force Commander Southern Command and 2 Corps Visits Khairpur Tamewali Pakistan-U.S. Navy Bilateral Exercise Inspired Union 2024 Pakistan Navy's Humanitarian Mission in Balochistan's Flood-ravaged Villages The Heat is On: How Pakistan is Battling the Dire Consequences of Climate Change Solid Waste Management in Pakistan: Promotion of Sustainable Circular Economy Revolutionizing Flood Risk Management in Pakistan: Harnessing the Power of River Indus Assumptions Vs. Realities: Demystifying Pakistan‘s Defense Budget Unresolved Turmoil, The Gaza Conflict and Israel‘s Strategic Quagmire Post Shangri-La Dialogue: Prospects for Regional Security and Stability Optimizing the Benefits of CPEC 2.0 Sagadat Nurmagambetov: An Example of Persistence, Courage, and Selfless Devotion to the Motherland From Digital Resistance to Pro-Palestinian Encampment SIFC: Catalyst for Foreign Investment Driving Pakistan‘s Economic Transformation Charting a Green Future: How SIFC is Leading Pakistan‘s Green Revolution Digital Terrorism: Implications for Pakistan‘s National Security and Policy Tich‘ Cowan – The Fighting Admiral Leepa Valley: Where Nature Meets Patriotism RUMANZA: Transforming Pakistan‘s Golfing Landscape with World-Class Excellence Inside Okara Garrison: Students Witness Pakistan Army‘s Training and Tradition Prime Minister Pays Tribute at Sepoy Haroon William‘s Funeral Service CJCSC Visits Turkiye Chief of Defense Forces Australia Calls on CJCSC COAS Visits the LOC in the Haji Pir Sector Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy Calls on CNS Royal Saudi Naval Forces Delegation Visits Pakistan CAS Visits Command and Staff College Quetta Commander Multan Corps Reviews Troops’ Watermanship Training in Okara Rescue at Sea: Pakistan Navy Saves 8 Iranian Fishermen Amid Vessel Fire
Advertisements

Ambassador Munir Akram

The writer has served in the Pakistan Foreign Service for over 40 years. He was Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York; Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO in Geneva; Additional Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the European Economic Community in Belgium and Luxembourg. E-mail: [email protected]

Advertisements

Hilal English

Reconnecting with Washington

August 2019

PM Imran Khan’s three-day visit to Washington was a resounding success.
He received a rock star welcome from the Pakistani-American community; established good personal chemistry with the U.S. President; there was convergence on the core issue of Afghanistan; Trump’s offer of mediation on Kashmir was an unanticipated “bonus”; the PM received numerous proposals for investment and economic cooperation from U.S. and expatriate businessmen which could contribute significantly to Pakistan’s growth.



At the White House
President Trump received the PM warmly. The instant rapport with the U.S. President was reflected in the joint press meeting, Trump’s personal tour of the White House to the Pakistani delegation, during the formal talks, in the one-on-one meeting and the “family photo” with the First Lady.
The White House talks mainly covered the peace process in Afghanistan and bilateral relations. This was the first high level Pakistan-U.S. encounter in over five years. So far, the Trump administration had refused to engage with Pakistan in a structured dialogue at the senior-most level. It was made possible by Pakistan’s indispensable facilitation of the U.S.-Taliban talks and the considerable progress made in these talks on 2 of the 4 identified agenda items.
Unlike the past, Pakistan was led by a person not beholden, personally or financially, to the Americans and thus confident enough to convey Pakistan’s positions frankly and clearly. The positions expressed by both sides assumed added credibility due to the presence of the COAS and DG ISI on the Pakistan side and the Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State on the U.S. side.


Trump’s offer of mediation on Kashmir was an unanticipated and a pleasant surprise for Pakistan. It has placed New Delhi in the uncomfortable position of calling the U.S. President a liar. 


The PM described the exchanges as “straightforward”. He said that Pakistan and the U.S. were now on the same page and endorse the common objective of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan would do “everything it can” to ensure the success of the Afghan peace process.
In the extended press encounter at the White House prior to the talks, President Trump was effusive and complimentary towards Pakistan and the PM. At this press meeting, and in the subsequent interviews, the PM articulated Pakistan’s positions with restraint and quiet dignity, while adroitly avoiding controversial issues.
Trump’s offer of mediation on Kashmir was an unanticipated and a pleasant surprise for Pakistan. It has placed New Delhi in the uncomfortable position of calling the U.S. President a liar. There is potential diplomatic mileage for Pakistan to derive from this episode.
Pompeo’s Call
Secretary of State Pompeo’s call to the PM at the Pakistan Ambassador’s Residence the next day was an expression of support for the positive evolution in Pakistan-U.S. relations from its foreign policy institution.
On the Hill
The PM was welcomed on the Hill by the “Pakistan Caucus” in the U.S. Congress. The long dormant Caucus has recently expanded to over 80 members. In another sign of Pakistan’s growing relevance, and bipartisan support for improved relations with Pakistan, the event for the PM was attended by members of the Caucus and a large number of other U.S. legislators, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leading figure in the Democratic Party.
The Capital One Rally
By all accounts, the mammoth congregation of nearly 30,000 Pakistani-Americans organized on the second evening of the trip by local PTI leaders to welcome PM Imran Khan was unprecedented in its size and enthusiasm. This “show of strength” will have reverberations both domestically and for Pakistan-U.S. relations.
Charisma and Preparation
The success of the visit was due to PM Imran Khan’s international celebrity status, personal charisma and the careful preparations on substance and logistics both in Islamabad and Washington, especially by Pakistan’s new and professional Ambassador and his staff.
Afghanistan – the Key Issue
In the short term, the graph of the Pakistan-U.S. relations will be drawn largely by the progress made in promoting peace in Afghanistan. Over the longer term, the evolution in Pakistan-India, U.S.-India and U.S.-China relations will influence the tone and substance of the Pakistan-U.S. relationship.
Afghanistan and counter-terrorism were reportedly discussed in greater depth in the COAS’ talks at the Pentagon and with the U.S. Secretary of State. Although both Pakistan and the U.S. desire a political settlement in Afghanistan, the devil is in the details.



PM Imran Khan wisely sought to avoid U.S. pressure by expressing his aversion to U.S. “aid”. Yet, this does not foreclose reciprocity, which is a core principle of inter-state relations and diplomacy. To reciprocate Pakistan’s help in facilitating the Afghan peace process, the U.S. has declared the BLA as a terrorist organization and, following the talks with the COAS, renewed the repairs and servicing program for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.


On Afghanistan, the discussions are focused on how to convince the Taliban to enter into negotiations with the Kabul Government and to accept a ceasefire while these talks are underway. The U.S., Russia, China and Pakistan advocated this in Beijing recently. There may be high expectations in Washington that Pakistan and PM Imran Khan can persuade the Taliban to accept talks with Kabul and a ceasefire when they visit Islamabad shortly at the PM’s invitation.
Convincing the Taliban will not be an easy task. They may agree to some diplomatic modality for the intra-Afghan talks; but they have again announced that they reject a ceasefire.



On the other hand, the U.S.’ position is also not entirely clear. President Trump favors a quick withdrawal (driven by the 2020 election timetable). U.S. Generals have, however, continued to assert that U.S. withdrawal is “conditions based”, implying that it will happen only after a political settlement. The U.S. may also want to leave behind a “small” counter-terrorism force in Afghanistan post a settlement. Such demands could complicate and delay troop withdrawal and the entire peace process.
In these circumstances, Pakistan would be wise not to assume the entire onus for persuading the Taliban and should share the task with the three great powers parties to the Beijing consensus.



India has infiltrated most of the U.S. think tanks and built a powerful intellectual lobby which portrays Pakistan in the worst possible light. Pakistan will have to mount a counter campaign. Among other steps, it could fund “chairs” on areas and issues of interest to Pakistan at various think tanks and universities, and arrange speaking engagements for Pakistani personalities etc.


Indeed, Afghanistan is one area where the U.S., China and Russia, despite their global rivalries, could cooperate to promote their common objectives of eliminating international terrorism and promoting peace and stability.
U.S. Reciprocity
PM Imran Khan wisely sought to avoid U.S. pressure by expressing his aversion to U.S. “aid”. Yet, this does not foreclose reciprocity, which is a core principle of inter-state relations and diplomacy. To reciprocate Pakistan’s help in facilitating the Afghan peace process, the U.S. has declared the BLA as a terrorist organization and, following the talks with the COAS, renewed the repairs and servicing program for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.



Indeed, Afghanistan is one area where the U.S., China and Russia, despite their global rivalries, could cooperate to promote their common objectives of eliminating international terrorism and promoting peace and stability.


If the positive trajectory of relations is preserved, Pakistan could also expect: U.S. action against TTP safe havens and BLA safe houses; coordination in preventing cross-border TTP/BLA attacks from Afghan territory; help in fencing and monitoring the Pakistan-Afghan border; release of counter-terrorism equipment and the CSF repayments; and eventually promotion of a program for the early repatriation of Afghan refugees.
Countering Terrorism
During the Washington visit, PM Imran Khan reaffirmed that, in its own interest, Pakistan will no longer tolerate the existence of armed militant groups within the country. Recent actions taken against the LeT and JeM and their leaders do reflect this commitment. These actions ought to remove one of the strongest “talking points” used against Pakistan by India and its friends.



Pakistan would be remiss if it does not pursue the unilateral offer made by President Trump to mediate the Kashmir dispute with India. To give life to this offer, Pakistan could request President Trump to convey a specific proposal to India for an interim solution to the Kashmir dispute and a halt in India’s brutal human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. 


While affirming Pakistan’s determination to terminate “terrorist financing” as required by the FATF, Pakistan’s PM urged equally vigorous international action to halt money laundering by corrupt politicians and officials and the repatriation of stolen capital. (This is a demand for which Pakistan can secure global support at the UN General Assembly.)
Kashmir
Pakistan would be remiss if it does not pursue the unilateral offer made by President Trump to mediate the Kashmir dispute with India. To give life to this offer, Pakistan could request President Trump to convey a specific proposal to India for an interim solution to the Kashmir dispute and a halt in India’s brutal human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. If India refuses to utilize Trump’s good offices, Pakistan could present a resolution in the UN (Security Council, General Assembly or Human Rights Council) urging New Delhi to do so. Given the supportive statement on Kashmir from China, such a proposal is likely to enjoy majority support in UN forums. At the least, such a move may open doors for resumption of the comprehensive Pakistan-India dialogue which India has spurned so far.
Economic Cooperation
During the visit, PM Khan displayed full awareness that economic cooperation offers the most promising avenue to accelerate Pakistan’s growth and improve Pakistan-U.S. relations. The PM’s delegation included his principal economic Ministers and Advisers. Promising full security and business facilitation, the PM asked for the removal of travel and other impediments to U.S. investment and trade expansion, highlighting that the vast potential of Pakistan’s economy remains to be unleashed. President Trump publicly confirmed the potential to exponentially expand U.S. trade and investment with Pakistan.
The vast possibilities for economic cooperation can be realized only through the conception, initiation, approval and execution of specific investment or trade projects. Several specific proposals for investment and cooperation were made during the PM’s meetings with a large number of Pakistani-Americans and U.S. corporations organized by the Ambassador of Pakistan. These covered investments in industrial and agricultural expansion; energy infrastructure; renewable energy; mining; IT and advanced technology; social infrastructure; education and healthcare; exports of textiles, consumer and agricultural goods from Pakistan and LNG and high tech imports from the U.S.
These proposals will require active follow-up by the Washington Embassy and the relevant ministries and officials in Pakistan. If pursued diligently, these initiatives could yield billions in foreign investment and trade and accelerate Pakistan’s economic growth.
Follow-up
An organized effort will be needed to utilize the goodwill and momentum created by the PM’s Washington visit to improve relations with the U.S. and promote Pakistan’s national objectives.
U.S. Congress
A more active interaction with the U.S. Congress is necessary, in part to counter the ingrained hostility of some mid-level U.S. officials and the hyperactive Indian lobby. The newly hired lobbyist can be helpful in this process.
U.S. Media
A media campaign is sorely needed to counter the pervasive Indian-sponsored propaganda against Pakistan. The PM’s trip was not adequately covered in the U.S. print and electronic media. The newly recruited PR firm will need to help redress this. It should undertake a wide ranging effort to project a positive perspective of Pakistan.
Think Tanks
India has infiltrated most of the U.S. think tanks and built a powerful intellectual lobby which portrays Pakistan in the worst possible light. Pakistan will have to mount a counter campaign. Among other steps, it could fund “chairs” on areas and issues of interest to Pakistan at various think tanks and universities, and arrange speaking engagements for Pakistani personalities etc.
The Pakistani Diaspora
While the PTI will no doubt be reinvigorated within Pakistan by the Capital One congregation, the mass adulation evoked by Imran Khan must have been duly noted by U.S. politicians as well. Trump almost certainly did. Pakistani expatriates are present in almost every political constituency in the U.S. and, if properly mobilized, they can influence U.S. political leaders to adopt a more balanced attitude towards Pakistan and its legitimate interests.
Strategic Realities and Opportunities
While Pakistan-U.S. interests currently converge on Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and economic cooperation, the relationship is constrained at the strategic level by the U.S. desire to promote India as a counter to China across the so-called “Indo-Pacific” and Asia.
The Indo-U.S. “strategic partnership” has had several negative consequences for Pakistan including an arms imbalance, Indian belligerence and the brutal suppression of Kashmiris. Pakistan’s security and development objectives remain intensively dependent on its deep and durable strategic partnership with China.
However, there are flaws in the foundation of the Indo-U.S. partnership which Pakistan can and should assiduously exploit. While desiring the advantages of an alliance with the U.S., India wants to be a global power, not a regional U.S. satrap; it is hyper nationalist; it is working for a multipolar world, (and thus the erosion of the U.S.-led “world order”); it buys most of its weapons from Russia; and its largest trading partner is China. Over time, India is likely to emerge as America’s rival rather than its “natural ally”.
The Washington “establishment”, like a large ship, is difficult to turn around once it reaches a “consensus” on any issue. It will be an uphill task for Pakistan to change the present pro-India consensus. Yet, given the high strategic stakes and the significant implications for its national security and development, Pakistan must commence the effort to erode the pro-India and anti-Pakistan “Washington consensus”. PM Imran Khan’s visit was a good beginning.


The writer has served in the Pakistan Foreign Service for over 40 years. He was Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York; Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO in Geneva; Additional Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the European Economic Community in Belgium and Luxembourg.
E-mail: [email protected]
 

Ambassador Munir Akram

The writer has served in the Pakistan Foreign Service for over 40 years. He was Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York; Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO in Geneva; Additional Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the European Economic Community in Belgium and Luxembourg. E-mail: [email protected]

Advertisements