M Zahid Rifat
THE US policies more or less remain unchanged irrespective of incoming and outgoing President and to which party he may be belonging. Washington always has long term policies focused mainly on America’s interests and US relations with other countries are also based on furthering the American interests no matter whom Washington describes or regards as strategic partner or an old ally. The American interests always remain supreme and uppermost on the minds of all concerned and new US President Donald Trump had in his inaugural address on assuming the office has very emphatically stated “America first”. For that US can go to any extent as long as its interests are being served.
Pakistan has been and continues to be an old ally of USA and continues to suffer because of that instead of getting some benefits. On the other hand USA describes India as its strategic partner and New Delhi gets all the benefits it wants out of its relations with Washington. One can cite numerous instances in this regard but suffice to mention lingering Kashmir dispute which the United Nations has not been able to resolve even in more that six decades because USA do not want that to happen and in the process New Delhi may suffer and Pakistan may gain both directly and indirectly.
Sometime back, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan had quite rightly mentioned Delhi, Kabul and Dhaka nexus against Pakistan while addressing the SAARC Interior Ministers/Home Ministers Conference in Islamabad. But in doing so, he forgot to mention, or perhaps the moot was restricted to the region only, USA as Washington is patronizing and encouraging hostilities towards Pakistan of all these countries. It is a matter of only recent record that India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have accelerated their hostilities against Pakistan, both directly and indirectly, after leaders of these countries had meetings with the then US President Obama during last couple of months. In fact, it is Delhi, Kabul, Dhaka and Washington nexus all ganged up against Pakistan for their ulterior motives.
Hostilities of India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh against Pakistan are a bitter long story but in short, India has never recognized creation of Pakistan as a result of its partition in two countries, Afghanistan has never been friendly towards Islamabad , Bangladesh by toeing the line of New Delhi is only trying to pay back its debt to India which had played major role in dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh through its armed intervention in the garb of Mukti Bahini and USA though claims to be an old ally of Pakistan, has its own agenda and in reality tilted heavily towards India. As such, nexus of Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh as well as USA have been working covertly against Pakistan for years together and not letting any opportunity go by to weaken and destabilize our beloved country which continues to exist and will remain always on the world map forever with the blessings of Almighty Allah, Inshallah.
Pakistan has always been pursuing policy of maintaining cordial relations and living in harmony and peace with all countries particularly its neighbours. But these policies of peaceful co-existence of Pakistan , as repeatedly stated and reiterated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and senior functionaries concerned of the federal government from time to time, somehow are not reciprocated by New Delhi, Kabul and Dhaka in desirable positive response and neighbourly friendly ties. Our policy makers would do well if they have close look at how Washington serves its agenda and interests least caring if other countries like its ally Pakistan have to offer heavy price for that in the process. Our national interests must always remain supreme and these must be safeguarded, protected and furthered no matter how much price we have to pay for that. Pakistan has been and is suffering heavily and offering greater sacrifices in the US-imposed war on terror but Washington has never appreciated these sacrifices and keeps saying all the time “Do More and More”.
It is high time that we differentiate between our friends and enemies and revise and review our foreign policy keeping the bitter but true ground realities. An independent foreign policy will surely and certainly help us in standing on our feet more firmly and moving forwards and onwards with the countries which are really friendly or for that matter have at least cordial relations and not hostile towards Islamabad. Cutting long story short, if other countries can do all they want to further their interests then why cannot Pakistan do that ?
— The writer, a retired Deputy Controller (News) Radio Pakistan, is based in Lahore.