It seems as if Islamabad has taken precedence over Pyongyang and Tehran for Mr. Trump who wished us a very happy new year recently. Our ties with the United States have had its ups and downs on the diplomatic front. Unlike previous White House administrations who preferred keeping the relationship skeptical between the two countries until the American boots are on the ground in Afghanistan, Donald Trump is willing to eliminate ifs and buts and define it once and for all.
We have been termed as strategic partners in the attainment of regional peace yet the white house spokesperson is always ready with a “Do more” statement upon referring to Pakistan. With 16 years into the war on terror at the expense of 70,000 lives and a loss of more than $120 billion dollars, we have finally given a befitting reply to the Americans which should’ve come at its earliest. If it comes to Mr trump`s measuring scale, we should expect another tweet for a trillion dollars of American tax payer`s money spent since 2001 limiting the northern alliance’s role to Kabul moreover military bases and government establishments in the country.
The transition from America`s favorite mujahedeen group crushing the Soviets to Afghanistan’s most feared insurgents, Haqqanis never fail to interlude with strategic dialogue between the two countries. The so-called safe heavens are an excuse or a mere proposition by the American establishment who have exhausted all other excuses when questioned about their failure. Americans should realize that the post 9/11 doctrine is fading away and a geo-strategic shift in favor of Russia and China already in place may worsen the situation. It`s time for the American establishment to truly recognize Pakistan for its counterterrorism efforts and a logistical support partner. It’s the Americans who are playing a “Double Game” instead of Pakistan with the Afghan people in lieu of impractical expectations.
Shehryar Imran Ejaz
Student – Lahore University of Management Sciences