In dealing with Trump, Pakistan plays its trump card

Published: August 24, 2017
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Pakistan is learnt to have conveyed to the United States that it will call off its efforts in the Afghan reconciliation process if the Trump administration does not change its new policy of intimidation and coercion towards Islamabad.

It has been conveyed to the US administration through diplomatic channels that Pakistan will set its strategy for a peaceful Afghanistan in view of its national security policy, sources told Daily Express.

The civil and military leadership has expressed serious reservations over the new US policy on Afghanistan.

“Consultations at the highest levels concluded that Pakistan will not give in to any American pressure or demands,” sources said, adding that senior federal authorities have voiced their reservations.

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It has been conveyed to the Trump administration that Pakistan has achieved 100% results in its military operations against terrorists of all hue and colour and will continue doing so until the last terrorist is eliminated.

According to sources, Pakistan has told US Ambassador David Hale that neither was Islamabad dependent on Washington for its defence system nor did its economy need American financial assistance.

They said that Pakistan had started approaching its allies, including China, Russia and other countries to muster support in the face of the new US policy. Beijing has assured Islamabad that it will veto any possible resolution in the UN Security Council by the US.

Sources also said that Islamabad has set its own strategy to deal with the new US strategy. Pakistan, they said, has warned the US of possible pull-out from the Afghan reconciliation process if Washington didn’t change its approach.

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“If the US adopts a balanced policy, Pakistan will also establish good relations with the Trump administration, otherwise Pakistan can review its relations on all issues,” they added.

According to an important source, the US administration has started discussions on the policy in light of Pakistan’s reaction.

Foreign Minister Khawja Asif’s visit to the US will be vital in the context as the minister has been tasked to state Pakistan’s stance to the Trump administration.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier this month invited Asif to Washington. The invitation was extended by the secretary of state during a telephone conversation with Asif.

Reciprocating the gesture, Asif also extended an invitation to Secretary Tillerson to visit Pakistan. Tillerson, according to the Foreign Office, accepted the invitation.

Sources said the federal government would set its policy at the National Security Committee meeting today (Thursday).

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Mirza asim Baig
    Aug 24, 2017 - 1:28AM

    After so much sacrifice of our Army our people our economy American president should be shamed to say such words for Pakistan.Recommend

  • cautious
    Aug 24, 2017 - 2:58AM

    Pakistan has used the Taliban trump card so often that nobody outside of Pakistan believes it has the much touted influence. Pakistan withdrawal from the negotiating process will be a non event. Recommend

  • Happy
    Aug 24, 2017 - 3:30AM

    That’s the language these Americans understand. Well Americans, you asked for it, now listen.Recommend

  • Rollin & Trollin
    Aug 24, 2017 - 6:17AM

    Of course, this is for public consumption. Because everyone knows that ultimately the US holds many more trump cards.Recommend

  • Ashraf P
    Aug 24, 2017 - 10:22AM

    Pakistan always had a lot of trump cards. But unfortunately the game ended a long time ago.Recommend

  • Menon
    Aug 24, 2017 - 3:01PM

    Let’s see how an Ant biting an Elephant works out!Recommend

  • Ateeq
    Aug 24, 2017 - 3:27PM

    @cautious: well that card is a reality but only a fool like you cannot understand, lets see how things get settled without Pakistan.Recommend

  • Wahab
    Aug 24, 2017 - 4:35PM

    @Rollin & Trollin:
    Not really. History has shown that America’s blustering, threats, pressure and bullying has always exacted only small and tactical concessions out of Pakistan, not at all strategic shifts. The US has lost the ability to meaningfully influence Pakistan’s behavior either by carrots or by sticks. But you’re welcome to try and use!Recommend

  • SRK
    Aug 24, 2017 - 8:24PM

    Let’s see what happens to folks back home when the US puts in policies to restrict our officials and their families (kids) , prominent business families and such from visiting/studying in the US. Or if it starts deporting GC holders and other students from here back home. I think the US can twist our hands more than we can do to it.Recommend

  • Khan
    Aug 25, 2017 - 5:57AM

    @Menon:

    Let us not forget Pakistan was under strict sanctions for decades and has survived even when it’s exports and resources were limited at that time. Secondly, Pakistan’ isn’t biting but just defending it’s stance, let’s not forget US might be assuming things since the porous border is over 800 miles stretch while the country has limited resources to man it.
    It is Pakistan who is fencing it gradually and has introduced biometric system which the NATO and USA must do on the other side if they’re seriously thinking about reining the miscreants.Recommend

  • Xi2
    Aug 25, 2017 - 8:52AM

    Trump can easily call Pakistani bluff. Let Pakistan approach their “allies” and lets see how far do they survive.Recommend

  • genesis
    Aug 25, 2017 - 2:16PM

    The whole point of China being on the UN seat is how to take care of terrorist and their int rest.Good Job!Recommend

  • xyz
    Aug 25, 2017 - 8:56PM

    Get real. KSA is now a net borrower. It cannot support the Taliban with money. China is wavering. If GDP dips below 6% there will be a lot of riots in China. The days of Pakistanis sending money from the Gulf are over. Exports have fallen. And foreign reserves are less than 3 months. The days of acting tough are over. Recommend

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