Shahabaz Sharif
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News Desk |

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif in a statement on Friday said that it is time for Pakistan to “politely and gratefully close the chapter on US assistance”. He was responding to US President Donald Trump’s hard line strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Chief Minister Punjab also stated that the nation must politely close the chapter on US assistance to free itself from endless demands to do more.

Shahbaz Sharif criticized the new Afghan policy of President Trump on twitter. He tweeted that “the constant allusions to American assistance in larger conversations about regional peace and security represent salt on the wounds of the millions of Pakistanis that have endured the burdens of terrorism, poverty and poor governance”.

The US president, earlier this week, announced 4,000 new troops for deployment to Afghanistan, backtracking from his earlier promise to end America’s longest war. He also accused Pakistan of “harboring terrorists”, and repeated the demand of ‘do more’.

Shahbaz said, “Pakistanis have already rendered enough sacrifices in man and material for the achievement of shared objectives of the terror-free and peaceful world.”

Shahbaz Sharif stated that Pakistan must avail this opportunity to redefine its national interests according to the changing geopolitical situation.

He concluded the thread saying we must learn to rely on ourselves to be able to alter the fate of the civilians and the nation.

The office of the Chief Minister Punjab also issued a press release in which Shahbaz Sharif gave a similar response to US President Donald Trump’s new Afghan policy.

Why is this statement important?

This statement coming from the Chief Minister of the largest province is important. Shahbaz has reiterated the stance given by country’s top leadership in National Security Council meeting. Trump’s Afghan policy seems to have brought unity in the country which was much needed.

Shahbaz Sharif through his tweets and the press release has made it clear that Pakistan always stood by the USA through thick and thin. It aligned with USA against the common threat from USSR. Pakistan stood by the US during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and acted as a frontline state in the war on terror after the 9/11 attacks. Despite massive sacrifices and huge economic losses, the US still criticizes Pakistan and accuses it of harboring terrorists.

His response has made it clear that the entire nation is united and will face every threat whether internal or external together, by setting aside all the differences.The resolve permeates across the political divide in the country. The opposition leader, Imran Khan has echoed the same sentiments in interviews to various international channels. Perhaps, the realization has dawned that Pakistan needs to imbibe independence as a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

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