MEMBERS of US Administration and Generals have been pushing Pakistan to do more, despite the fact that more than 70000 Pakistani civilians and more than five thousand security personnel have lost their lives since Pakistan joined the war on terror. Yet, they often say that Pakistan must be sensitive to the US security interests. The question is what Pakistan has been doing since the US invasion of Afghanistan, if not this, even to the detriment of its own national interests? In fact, since 1950s, Pakistan has been looking after American interests after it joined military pacts with the West and bilateral agreement with the US. When US spy plane U-2 took off from Buda Ber near Peshawar and was shot down by the Soviet Union in May 1960, whose interest Pakistan had served if not the US? Yet the US never helped Pakistan during wars with India.
After short hiatuses, US leadership resorts to nauseating talk; sometimes they play good cop bad cop and hurl accusations, while at others they show arrogance by adopting threatening posture. The other day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. He said: “We need Pakistan to do more. They have to stop harbouring terror. We saw what happened with India. The conflict that rose there as a result of terrorists that departed from Pakistan”. Mike Pompeo’s statement has been issued without verifying the facts; and by doing so he emboldens India in committing atrocities on the Kashmiri people. He also tried to create doubts about Pakistan’s nuclear program, though Pakistan has a foolproof command and control structure in place, which has been acknowledged by IAEA, the US and other forums more than once in the past.
In editorial of national English daily, referring to Pompeo’s statement the leader writer stated: “The nuclear deterrence may be one thing that has prevented an all-out invasion from India; there is nothing it would like more than to be the only nuclear power in the region. While there are genuine concerns about nuclear safety in all countries, and denuclearization should be our goal, what the US wants is not a nuclear-free world but one in which the US and its allies have nuclear monopoly”. The US had been rather quiet on the subject of Pakistani nukes, and after a long time now the US publicly raised this issue. Pakistan’s stance on nuclear proliferation is very clear that it is committed to the international non-proliferation regime but any country-specific exception for NSG membership, which overrides the long-established principles and norms, will be detrimental to the global non-proliferation regime.
Pakistan had created the National Command Authority (NCA) to manage and safeguard nuclear assets and related infrastructures. Many credible international experts have also expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s command and control of its nuclear program. The Strategic Plan Division (SPD) is also playing a very important role in managing Pakistan’s nuclear assets, along with the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), which was established in 2001. The effectiveness of Pakistan’s measures had been praised by IAEA and the US. Meanwhile, the United States has asked Pakistan to take sustained, verifiable and irreversible action against the perpetrators of terrorism, while warning the country that another terror attack on India will prove to be extremely problematic for Pakistan. There is CIA-NDS-RAW nexus which works in unison to destabilize Pakistan. According to intelligence reports, NDS is planning to create sectarian chaos in Pakistan; therefore religious harmony is need of the hour.
To everyone’s surprise, there is news that US President Donald Trump hopes to meet Pakistani leadership soon, acknowledging that relations between the two countries are very good. But this is travesty of the truth, if viewed in the context of statements of Pompeo and official of US administration. Of course, the US wanted Pakistan to play its role in bringing the Taliban on negotiating table, which Pakistan did. In the past, America used Pakistan to advance its interests, but ditched Pakistan every time after achieving its objective. Pakistan had stood by the US and the West during Vietnam War, Arab-Israel war, Gulf War and supported them during Afghan jihad; and last but not the least war on terror. Pakistan gave tremendous sacrifices, yet the US stopped payment of Coalition Support Fund. On the other hand India was rewarded in the form of civil-nuclear agreement and support to make it member of NSG.
One would not know what America is up to? But French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel do not rely upon the US, especially from the time Donald Trump is at the helm. Whereas the US is bent upon making India as a regional power to contain China, it is a cause of alarm for the smaller neighbours. The US has proved more than once that it is not trustworthy. America is considered unreliable by the European Union countries also. The European Union, along with countries in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere are looking to China rather than the US. In the process, they are cutting the US out of trade deals, investment, and seeking to reorient the international order, undermining US interests. The danger of being an unreliable ally also means that the spectre of trade wars, rather than agreements, may not be over anytime soon.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.