Islamabad, Pakistan (ViaNews) – President Trump delivered a speech on August 21 at Fort Myer military base, near Washington, about the Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia. He singled Pakistan out for particular criticism of their alleged role in giving sanctuary to insurgents operating from Pakistan against the USA. “Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror”, he said.
Pakistani officials have lashed out publicly in frustration at the U.S Afghan and South Asia policy, saying that Trump’s plan to reinforce the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan will fail and that they are “reassessing” their relationship with Washington.
This is probably the first time that Pakistan has given a stern and swift response to Trump’s New policy. Recently, there have been a few instances where Pakistan officials have rejected the U.S. policy on their role in the War against Terrorism. They believe the country has done so much in the war against Terrorism that they strongly feel that Trump is invoking the “legacy of Vietnam “.
Trump’s speech has sparked a wide range of protests across the country where civil society, tribal, religious, and political leaders have raised voices against the U.S. new policy.
In his speech, Trump didn’t reveal much about military ptions, but just a day later, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington would consider cutting aid to Pakistan, increasing the use of drone attacks, and stripping Pakistan of its status as a major non-NATO US ally.
Different segments of religious, political, and military leadership in Pakistan point out to the fact that both India and USA are pitching against Pakistan’s harboring terrorist.
The Porous Afghanistan – Pakistan border has seen long bloody battles by the Pakistan Army to clear the area of Terrorists making them flee to Afghanistan.
There is strong resentment among local tribes on the Pakistan-Afghan border against USA drone strikes. Recently, locals were seen chanting “Long live Pakistan“ and nearby communities strongly feel that India and USA are conspiring against Pakistan.
The Afghan battles cannot be fought on Pakistani soil, said the NSC (National Security Council of Pakistan) which comprises of political and military leadership. This sent a clear sign to the USA to revamp their policy spikes towards Pakistan.
Pakistan Foreign Minister visited Turkey, China, and Russia, showing Intentions of shifting policy intentions.
Despite the hostility between both countries, there are signs that strained relations are far from collapsing. Last month, the ice broke between Pakistan and USA when the Pakistan Foreign Minister visited Washington. Despite such innumerable policy differences, Pakistan cannot afford to sever its tie with Washington.
During the past seven decades, Pakistan has considerably invested in the ongoing war against Terrorism. In case something isn’t done to act against the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups, the U.S. Congress may declare Pakistan a terrorist sponsor state. On the Other hand, the US Government should not discredit Pakistan efforts in combating terrorism because the new scenario has Pakistan finding alternatives in Russia and China.
Today, the U.S. Foreign Minister, Rex Tillerson, is visiting Pakistan which may pave way for better understanding between both Countries.
There are many opportunities available for both countries, particularly in the terrorism realm in which honest effort between both sides can produce the desired outcome.
If the USA wants to improve regional stability both countries should work to increase trustworthiness and remodel fractured ties.