Washington’s approach to backfire

RESPONDING to signals emanating from the United States including that of stripping Pakistan of its status as an ally, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who was in London the other day, stated in categorical terms that Washington’s hard line approach risks backfiring. The very statement of the Prime Minister is based on ground realities as the US’s brow beating policy has neither worked in the past nor will serve any purpose in future except taking the matters towards further aggravation in the region.
While Pakistan has consistently sought collaborative effort to fight terrorist elements, the US is in the habit of putting the onus of its responsibilities and failures in Afghanistan on Islamabad. Our country has given innumerable sacrifices both human and material in the war on terror as a result of which the situation stands much improved in the country. Now holding Pakistan responsible for failures in Afghanistan by no means has any logic or footing as the country in its capacity has done its utmost to improve the matters in the war torn neighbouring country by way of facilitating the peace process and resorting to better management of border in order to curtail movement of undesirable elements. Had the US been interested in restoring peace in Afghanistan, it would also have supported the efforts towards reconciliation on the ground rather than adhering to the military option, which has failed all these long bloody years. The US must also understand that by straining ties with Pakistan, it also risks supplies to its troops in Afghanistan as well as whipping up anti-US sentiments. As their short and long-term interests in the region are bound up, there is no denying the fact that both Pakistan and the United States need each other. We expect that during his upcoming talks with the US administration, the PM will explicitly put across Pakistan’s stance and policy against terrorism. The US administration must also understand Pakistan’s limitations and pursue the cooperative approach if it is really interested in restoring peace in the region.

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