Former Pakistan ambassador to the US warns Islamabad’s attitude will not change because of a Donald Trump Tweet.
Afghan Govt Hails Trump’s Stance On Pakistan
Afghan authorities on Tuesday praised US president Donald Trump for adopting a more harsh policy towards Pakistan over its controversial role in the fight against terrorism.
They said Afghanistan hopes that the US officials will take practical steps to push Pakistan to honor its responsibilities with regards to the matter.
President Trump's new stance marks the second phase of US's war strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. It is hoped that in this phase, the US mounts more pressure on Pakistan, said CEO Abdullah Abdullah's spokesman Mujiburrahman Rahimi.
"I think we have now entered the phase where Pakistan needs to practically cooperate with the United States. If it does not act, other options might be taken into consideration to put pressure on Pakistan to cooperate," added Rahimi.
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who appears to be one of the major critics of US war policy in Afghanistan, has also welcomed Trump's fresh stance on Pakistan saying the people of Afghanistan have been waiting for such a move for fifteen years
“Trump’s tweet on Pakistan's duplicitous position over the past 15 years is vindication that the war on terror is not in bombing Afghan villages and homes but in the sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan. I welcome today's clarity in President Trump's remarks and propose a joint US - regional coalition to pressurize the Pakistan military establishment to bring peace to not just Afghanistan but the entire region,” said Karzai in a Tweet.
At the start of new year, President Trump in a Tweet lashed out against Pakistan over its counter-terrorism policies and said that the US foolishly spent billions of dollars on Pakistan and got nothing in return.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.” Trump wrote on his Twitter on Monday, adding that: “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Meanwhile, a number of sources speaking on condition of anonymity, have said that there is an expectation that in this round of the war strategy, the US will slap sanctions on a number of Pakistani military generals over their ties with the terrorist groups and that drone attacks will also be increased in some parts of Pakistan.
The presidential palace has also welcomed the US move on Pakistan.
"The resistance demonstrated by the people of Afghanistan and the sacrifices made by the Afghan security forces are the reason that today the world has reached to a right consensus towards the region, President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman, Shahhussain Murtazawi said
Political commentators say that at this stage, the Afghan government needs to undertake more comprehensive and inclusive measures towards getting the benefit from the US policy on Pakistan.
"Pakistan must be depicted as the supporter of terrorism in the Islamic Cooperation Organization so that those Islamic countries which are supporting Pakistan, change their policies towards Pakistan," said Faramarz Tamanna, Director General of the Center for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Members of Afghanistan's senate have also announced support for the Trump's statement on Pakistan.
This is not a simple issue that the president of the United States lashes out at Pakistan on the first day of the new year," said Senate chairman, Fazel Hadi Muslimyar.
"It is a good sign that he has adopted the right policy against terrorists and their supporters," said Senator Mohammad Alam Ezedyar.
"We strongly support the move, there is a need for practical steps to be taken against Pakistan," said senator Anarkali Honaryar.
Trump's fresh stance on Pakistan adds to the already fragile relations between Washington and Islamabad that underwent major ups and downs following president Trump's inauguration in 2017.
A few hours after Trump's statement, Pakistani foreign minister Khawja Asif said that Pakistan will give a proper response to the US's "inappropriate" timing.
“We will respond to President Trump's tweet shortly inshallah...Will let the world know the truth. Difference between facts & fiction,” said Asif in a twit.
Pakistani defense minister Khurram Dastgir Khan also hit back at Trump’s Tweet and said, "[Pakistan] as anti-terror ally has given free access to the US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust.”
In August, Trump unveiled a new U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan aimed at defeating the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, an affiliated group that operates in Pakistan, something Pakistan always denied.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif are to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday over the Trump Tweets.
But, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, says that the Pakistani military and establishment will not change their behavior because of what Trump has said in his Tweet.
"I think that President Trump has not stated anything new. What is important is that the president of the United States is saying what other American officials have been saying for a while. The real question is what will president Trump do now. Pakistan’s behavior will not change just because of a Tweet if it has not changed because of all the other demonstrations that American officials have made over the years. So, America's action will be, is what will make the difference,” said Haqqani.
“I am not too sure what the steps are, but what has been discussed in the past are targeted sanction against individuals and organizations that are involved in terrorism. There will also be much more restrained economic relations between Pakistan and the United States. Let us see what comes next. “What will really be in the advantage of Pakistan is to have peace with Afghanistan and India and Iran and all of Pakistan's neighbors and to focus on educating the millions of Pakistani children who do not go to school and to end the extremism that is flourishing inside Pakistan. “The Pakistani military has a view of Pakistan's national interest. they believe that it is in Pakistan national interests that to do what they are doing. Their view is very narrowminded, it is not to the advantage of Pakistan. “Unfortunately, our military and intelligence leadership does not think so. I do not expect the Pakistani military, intelligence to change its behavior. I think that the rest of the world will have to change its behavior towards Pakistan to make sure that Pakistan's establishment realizes that the cost of its behavior is greater than the advantage,” Haqqani added.
On Tuesday, Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador to against Trump’s angry Tweet about Pakistan’s “lies and deceit”, while Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif dismissed the outburst as a political stunt.