Waqas Ahmed Khan
The nosedived US-Pak relations have further plunged in to an all-time low after President Donald Trump posted his first tweet of the New Year pertaining to his reservations regarding the deceitful behavior played by Pakistan in war against terrorism. America has cut the supply of its military assistance to Pakistan until it proves its commitment to take decisive action against all terrorist groups.
In his tweet he stated: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33b in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe havens to the terrorist we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Surprisingly the way President Trump is regularizing the world affairs is quite astonishing as they are in complete divorce with the prevalent norms and values of international diplomacy. He is not considering the formal and designated channel of diplomacy for official correspondence dealing the inte-rstate relations. He although being the head of the state is behaving in a common businessman tone ignoring the gravity of responsibility he h-as adhered to which requires from him professionalism in statesmanship.
He is not gr-oomed well in the etiquettes and conventions of politics –national or international.
The tweet in itself is the culmination of the long pursuance strategy adopted by US since Trump proclamation of Afghan policy last August in which it has blatantly accused Pakistan for harboring terrorist organization whereby indicating Isla-mabad to align itself with the Washington demand to dism-antle all its safe havens operating within its territory otherwise the consequences wo-uld be dire. The aggressive attitude of US toward Pakis-tan as reflected in the Tru-mp’s tweet has multidimensional reasons.
The growing frustration of US with its failure in vanquishing the Taliban insurgent in Afghanistan for over long 16 years has serious negative implication for US-Pak relations. Since 9/11 America has poured a lot of money into the allied countries, among which Pakistan was one, for the purpose to achieve its objective in installing a democratic government in Afghanistan and eradicating the menace of militancy and extremism thereby diminishing the threat posed to it by Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaida. So far America has been unable to completely root out the terrorist network functional in reportedly 50 percent area of Afghanistan. Ironically the US concern over the alleged Pakistani sanctuaries for Haqqani network or Afghan Taliban in inexplicable as they have ample land for planning and operationalizing their plans within the territories of Afghanistan where their writ is strong.
Moreover in case of Afghanistan, Islamabad and Washington are on the same page with regard to their ambition to restore peace and stability in the country but they have divergence in carrying out this goal. America is viewing the Afghan problem from pure military lens trying to establish the writ of Ashraf Ghani Government through the use of coercive strategy rather than utilizing the soft democratic approach of dialogue and negotiation. Whe-reas Pakistan is convinced that without bringing the Afghan Taliban on table it’s a wishful thinking to restore normalcy and stability. Surprisingly, Trump administration has failed to acknowledge the sacrifices Pakistan has retendered in the War against terrorism. Pakistan economy has suffered losses worth more than $120 billion ever since it became a part of the coalition in US led war on terror. Over 70,000 civilian and more than 15,000 military personals have lost their lives. In addition foreign tourism had been completely shut down and foreign investment by international enterprises had come to a virtual halt. But the US has turned a blind eye to these mammoth sacrifices and is being insistent on putting all the blame on Pakistan for the failure of its counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. Pakistan has suffered huge a loss to its economic growth
Trump has also remained ignorant of the difference between aid and coalition support fund. Pakistan has received funds as reimbursement for the services it has provided to the United States in support of the activities concerned with decimating the terrorism. Pakistan has provided its land, air, military bases and intelligence cooperation to United States thus ensuring its determination to work for the world peace. Many senior US officials have reportedly claimed in recent past that they have completely destroyed Al-Qaeda’s offensive strike capability to launch terrorist attacks against US.
But they have forgotten that this became possible largely because of the counterterrorism measures taken by Pakistan in coordination with NATO. In the due course Pakistan apprehended several core Al-Qaida leaders and then handed over them to the American security administration. After the Trump’s tweet it seems as our all sacrifices has gone in vain.
In National Security Policy Trump has assigned a much bigger role to India in Afghanistan thereby replacing the position of Pakistan from its trustworthy ally to hostile status. US is undermining the national interest of Pakistan while recognizing the global power stature of India in South Asian strategic environment as the latter is occasionally involved in aiding and abetting the anti-Pakistan groups for destabilizing and orchestrating the terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Pakistan deepening ties with china is also viewed by Washington with suspicion particularly the manifestation of this cooperative relationship in the flagship project of CPEC which is utterly challenging to the hegemonic domination of US. Trump administration is trying to forge an alliance with India and Japan to pose restriction to the increasing influence of China in the region. On the other hand US assistance to India obliges Pakistan to align itself with other global powers. Due to US reckless behavior of not considering its sensitivities, Pakistan is broadening its strategic partnership with Russia.
The recent General Assembly poll has rendered US alone and isolated internationally on the question of Jerusalem whether or not to recognize it as the capital of Israel. The bill was presented by three Muslim states: Yemen, Turkey and Pakistan. Most of the states voted in favor of the bill thereby repudiating the unilateral decision of America to make Jerusalem capital of Israel. This action in opposition to US stance by Pakistan can also be causal factor behind the tweet. America being a super power consider it as its cardinal right to impose its decisions without any regard to Pakistan interest. Pakistan must provide the record of the CSF it received in 16 years as to where it had been spend in order to nip the ugly accusations of US in the bud once and for all. In this situation Pakistan should not compromise its sovereignty and respond shrewdly to US blames without allowing itself to be made a scapegoat.