News Analysis |
President Donald Trump is not satisfied with the progress made by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism and the US is holding Islamabad accountable for its actions for the first time, the White House said on February 23rd, 2018.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Raj Shah passed these remarks during the ongoing meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris where US is trying to include Pakistan in an international terror financing watch list. He added, “I know that we have restored some clarity in our relationship with Pakistan. For the first time we’re holding Pakistan accountable for its actions.”
“We’ve seen modest progress in terms of Pakistan’s actual acknowledgement of these concerns, but the President is not satisfied with progress when it comes to Pakistan”, Shah responded to a question on any development in Trump’s South Asia’s strategy which was declared in August, 2017.
Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror” which was released by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, along with Physicians for Social Responsibility and Physicians for Global Survival.
It is pertinent here to mention the fact that there have been ups and downs in the US-Pakistan relationship before. Pakistan had been a cold-war ally of the US. Then, following Pakistan’s ambitions to become a nuclear power, the relationship remained strained. In the 1980s however, the US ignored its nuclear proliferation concerns and worked closely with Pakistan to support the Afghan Mujihideen against the Soviet Union.
When the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, the US imposed sanctions on Pakistan again. After 9/11, Pakistan again became a close ally of the US and was designated a ‘major non-NATO ally’. In fact, Pakistan has also been called the ‘most allied ally’ of the US post-9/11. Nearly 18 years after 9/11, president Trump is alleging that Pakistan harbors terrorist groups that kill US troops in Afghanistan. The relationship continues be transactional in nature.
Read more: Pakistan complicates US’ Afghan mission
“The US is working closely with our partners in Afghanistan. We’ve made significant progress against ISIS, reducing their presence and eliminating hundreds of fighters. We’ve eliminated their top leaders, and we’re working relentlessly to target their leadership and bases wherever they emerge,” Shah explained.
Trump remained harsh towards Pakistan while announcing his South Asia Strategy. He directly held Pakistan responsible for the first time for most of the destruction that had affected Afghanistan. He issued a clear warning to Pakistan to cut its support to terrorist groups or face unexpected consequences.
The contemporary geostrategic and geopolitical situation of South Asia, Pakistan has other strategic partners such as China and Russia in order to counterbalance Indo-US potential hegemonic aspirations in the region.
On the hand, Pakistan rejected all these allegations leveled by the US. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Bajwa said that Pakistan is looking for recognition of all those sacrifices it has done in fight against terrorism. Simultaneously, the US has admired and acknowledged India in its efforts to assist Afghanistan economically. Furthermore, he invited India to do more in Afghanistan. US’s inclination towards India underscores Delhi’s growing role in Afghanistan and in the the entire South Asia region.
US failure to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan is due to its lack of its political will and a lack of continuity in its policies. President George W. Bush initially was against the ‘nation building business’ and was slow to realize that stability cannot be ensured by military victory alone. President Obama got elected on a campaign promise of bring the troops back home and reduced the number of troops under pressure from the public in America.
President Trump seems to believe that the number of American troops in Afghanistan needs to be increased again. Such abrupt changes in US policy hinder counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan by the US and that of other countries as well. Furthermore, the US should have worked to counter the ideology of terrorist groups as should be done in counter terrorism strategies.
President Donald Trump is not satisfied with the progress made by Pakistan in fight against terrorism and the US is holding Islamabad accountable for its actions for the first time, the White House said on February 23rd, 2018.
That’s why the number of terrorist groups has been increased. Directly targeting Pakistan and giving leverage to India in regional politics gives an impression that Pakistan is isolated from the international and regional politics. But, in the contemporary geostrategic and geopolitical situation of South Asia, Pakistan has other strategic partners such as China and Russia in order to counterbalance Indo-US potential hegemonic aspirations in the region.
Pakistan has remained a front line state in countering terrorism. It has sacrificed 80,000 lives, according to a report titled “Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror” which was released by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, along with Physicians for Social Responsibility and Physicians for Global Survival.
Read more: US suspends economic aid to Pakistan
The study also concluded that around 1.3 million people were killed, both directly and indirectly, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of US-led wars in the region in more than a decade. Blaming Pakistan only and showing dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s efforts in countering terror groups may not work in the future and not serve US interests in the region. Only political solutions and an integrated approach in which all regional countries are welcomed by the US would serve to maintain peace and stability in conflicted regions.