PM’s pertinent warning

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said it would be counter-productive for the United States to sanction Pakistani officials or further cut military assistance, warning it would hurt both countries’ fight against militancy. In an interview on Monday, he pointed out that Pakistan was fighting the war against terror and anything that degrades our effort will only hurt the US effort.
Pakistani leaders – both civilian and military – as well as officials have been conveying to the US interlocutors that the policy of sanctions has not worked in the past and it is unlikely to deliver now but Washington is apparently not listening and as a consequence relationship between Pakistan and the United States, strained many a times in the past, is poised for another friction ridden phase. The United States should have a holistic view of the entire situation as Pakistan is not over-dependent on American assistance – be it military or economic and therefore, sanctions that have already started unfolding unofficially would not yield desired result. People of Pakistan too have become weary of an unending tendency on part of the United States to twist Pakistan arms or make it scapegoat whenever it faces prospects of any failure in the region. Solution of the Afghan conflict does not lie in military adventure but political dialogue and national reconciliation yet both the United States and Kabul are blindly pursuing the policy of eliminating Taliban. Taliban is a reality in Afghanistan and would not disappear with a military onslaught as we have witnessed during the last over one decade that the combined might of 47 nations and barbaric use of all kinds of weapons could not root them out. Until and unless the world and especially the United States realises that the core problem in Afghanistan is foreign domination and occupation, which is not acceptable to people of that country, there can’t be any lasting peace and security in Afghanistan. President Trump had wisely hinted to withdraw from the country but now he has reversed the policy by announcing to dispatch more troops in the hope of grabbing mineral resources of Afghanistan. Therefore, instead of relying more on use of force and threatening Pakistan of sanctions, the right approach would be to promote national dialogue for which Islamabad has repeatedly offered its good offices.

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