In need of pragmatism


The time has come to look beyond the seemingly un-statesman-like Twitter outbursts of the usual suspect. For Donald Trump, it pains us to say, may have a point when it comes to highlighting the crisis of confidence in the Pak-US bilateral relationship, which also extends to Afghanistan as the unsleeping partner. Indeed, we imagine that Kabul is rather miffed with the unquiet American president right now. Given that the latter ‘admitted’ this week that his country has, for the last 15 years, been paying Pakistan vast sums to hunt down Afghan militants only for us to allegedly afford them shelter. Thus if we were Kabul, we might seek significant reparations from the US over its funding of a ‘known’ state-sponsor of terrorism.
Indeed the first payout could come from the $225 million in military assistance to us that the unquiet American President is keeping firmly under his belt; as opposed to his hat. Washington said that it won’t be showing Pakistan the money until we take “decisive action” against militant groups that are “destabilising the region and targeting US personnel”.
That Washington has specifically mentioned its troops’ security ought to give the Pakistani establishment pause for thought. For with American and NATO forces just across our border we have to get serious about flushing out any residual elements. We can only trade for so long on our nuclear capability. Just as we can perhaps only bank on not coming under possible IMA fire only as long as Gen Raheel is at the helm.
Most commentators agree that despite the US likely wanting to rattle China as the latter makes inroads into the traditional American regional stronghold it will, nevertheless, stop short of direct confrontation. Which may mean that Washington may in reality be trying to provoke a military takeover to foment nationwide unrest as the country gears up for summertime elections. And with certain local militant actors already routinely targeting our boys in khaki — this will give Trump Town even more reason to stay put. To protect our nukes from falling into suspect hands, naturally.
And although Pakistan’s Parliament is scheduled to convene next week to discuss the bilateral relationship — we do, hope, they will pop across to GHQ and do the same there..