Pak-US Relations At Crossroads

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Trump attacked Pakistan in the first tweet of 2018. The tweet shows his level of frustration. Islamabad and Washington have drifted apart amid allegations by President Trump accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to fight terrorism. The US has also suspended Security assistance to Pakistan. This development shows there will be no permanent friends or foes in the changing of the world. Pakistan has been the biggest victim of extremism and terrorism. Pakistan has lost more then what it has gained from this so-called America’s war on terror. There were rarely any bomb blasts and suicide attacks in Pakistan before 9/11, Pakistan went into this war as an American ally, lost thousands of soldiers and civilians during this era. As per Pakistan Economic Survey 2016/2017, Pakistan has lost 123.1 billion dollars in War on terror and Mr Trump is accounting that to just 33 billion dollars aid over a period of 17 years. As Pakistan’s current GDP volume is $304 billion, this huge loss is 41 percent of the country’s total economy size. This indicates that two-fifths of the economy not only went in the air but it also further damaged the economic growth of the country. The war on terror has been drastically affecting our economy, exports, physical infrastructure, tax collection and investment and our social fabric. When Trump says Pakistan has given US nothing but deceit maybe he is forgetting that Pakistanis had defeated USSR on behalf of Americans. Pakistanis have lost 80,000 lives in the war which we have been fighting for US (Taliban’s had no enmity with Pakistan but once Pakistan’s military started hunting them on US plea they turned against us). Sadly Pakistan has been providing road and harbours to the US for helping it fight in Afghanistan. The 33 billions of dollars Trump talked about are peanuts not even enough to rebuild the roads destroyed during these US supplies.

Pakistan gave its air bases, seaport and logistical routes through Pakistan for the US to operate against terrorists in Afghanistan, all NATO supplies of food, ammunition and everything passed through Pakistan over the decade enabling US/NATO to survive and operate in Afghanistan. Pakistan also handed over 689 AL Qaeda and Taliban or other outfit Terrorists caught by Pakistan, 400+ names with record exists to the US without even having an extradition treaty with the US and bypassing local laws. The US even killed 33 Pakistani Soldiers in Salala check-post attack and droned thousands of civilians as per own US investigative reports on drone strikes.  Pakistan took a total of more than 4.8 Million refugees alongside internally displaced own citizens for operations aside, highest in the world and yet Trump is blaming Pakistan for everything? There are internal causes for failure in Afghanistan, not Pakistan is a reason for US defeat. United States’ best-armed forces are not winning the war in Afghanistan just because few leaders of Taliban might be hiding in Pakistan? Seriously? 44% territory of Afghanistan is under Taliban control as per own US reports, what is stopping the US from freeing that 44%? At least take that back and then blame Pakistan. The world is witnessing the superpower coming to knees after 17 years in its war against terror.

At the moment, the US is accusing Pakistan of being responsible for all the ills of Afghanistan. Similarly, Iran is not an ally of the US. That means the US has no regional country to fall back on. China has its own Afghan policy which is closer to that of Iran and Pakistan. So the US is isolated as far as the region goes. The Afghan forces, as the president said, they can’t fight on their own. At the same time, the National Unity Government of Afghanistan has not unity there. You’ve got the different ethnicities of Afghanistan at each other’s throats. The USA is afraid of facing the same situation as they faced in Vietnam war in which they fleed even leaving the dead bodies of their soldiers and now they are just making some ground by accusing Pakistan to hide their shameful loss of the war in Afghanistan.

In history, ups and downs come and pass.  On 12 January 2018 Commander US Central Command (CENTCOM) and a US Senator telephoned Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss security coop post-President Trump tweet. Further, it is just an irrational tweet of Donald Trump but it’s a not an official statement of Congress. The US has a dire need of Pakistan for Afghanistan. Richard Olson, the Former American ambassador to Pakistan said: “Without Pakistan cooperation, our army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale.” The policy of a state is not in one hand but if the congress states such strict and harsh policy at that time there may be a prey of strife between two states.

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has completed her M.Phil in Physics recently. She has a keen interest in writing on socio-political issues. She can be reached at [email protected]

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