Accusatory approach no longer acceptable

DEVELOPMENTS of last two months during which the US President Donald Trump announced his policy for the region undoubtedly have put relations between Pakistan and the US at the lowest ebb. Pakistan has always tried to maintain these relations at a positive trajectory yet the other side regrettably has always tried to browbeat the country.
While Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif is on a 3-day tour to Washington to rebuild these relations and remove misunderstanding in relations, the top US Commander Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the Senate hearing accused ISI of having links with terrorist groups. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis also on Tuesday threatened to revoke Pakistan’s major non-NATO ally status. As far as ally status is concerned Washington, instead of issuing repeated statements on the matter, should go ahead with it as Pakistan in fact has got nothing from being the major ally except barrage of accusations. If the US really wants greater cooperation from Pakistan in the war on terror, it will firstly have to stop speaking the language of our eternal enemy India which misses no opportunity to malign Pakistan and accusing its security institutions of supporting terror. There are several statements of not only influential Muslim leaders but also that of the US officials exposing clearly as to who is funding and establishing terrorist groups. The fact is that had Pakistani institutions been backing terror groups, these would then not have wreaked havoc with the lives of Pakistani people and their properties. Our security forces and people have made immense sacrifices in the US war on terror and now accusing the country of abetting terror will amount to humiliating the blood of those who rendered sacrifices in this fight. In the face of threatening Washington tone, our government also needs to review the level of engagement and cooperation with the US, which should also understand that both the countries need each other to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan. Khawaja Asif during talks with US officials should make it very clear that accusatory approach and do more mantra is no longer acceptable to the people of Pakistan.

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