Trump & Pakistan: Deceit, lies & games nations play

Trump, who has swung between hurling insults and threats at North Korea to expressing a willingness to talk, said on Saturday he would be willing to speak to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, though not without pre-conditions. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 20, 2018, 12.53 PM (IST) Sparshita Saxena

The same day as today, exactly a year back, an event of great political significance took place.

There’s no denying that that the entire world closely watched American business magnate Donald Trump lock horns with his Democratic counterpart Hilary Clinton in the run up to becoming the 45th President of United States.

As it turned out, most of America voted for the Republican candidate Donald Trump who took the oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States”.

It wasn’t quite a cordial year for the Pakistan-US ties which touched a new low when the White House decided to pull out a whopping $1.9 billion aid to Pakistan.
×

The Trump administration completes a year today and the US President has successfully clocked-in 365 days of governance that, in a nutshell, has been marred by surprises, chaos, upheavals, revelations and controversies, of course.

A look at Trump’s maiden year would certainly involve some of his biggest announcements and strongest of stances over international issues and on America’s ties with other countries.

It all started somewhere halfway down the year with Trump outlining a new strategy on Afghanistan.
×

While Trump’s declaration on identifying Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was an event that raked many controversies, his positioning on Iran, North Korea and the Arab world came into the limelight time and again.

It wasn’t quite a cordial year for the Pakistan-US ties which touched a new low when the White House decided to pull out a whopping $1.9 billion aid to Pakistan.

It all started somewhere halfway down the year with Trump outlining a new strategy on Afghanistan with an aim to resolve more than a decade old conflict.

But “a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda,” Trump noted in August 2017.

And thus followed his statement on putting considerable “pressure” on Pakistan with an aim to dismantle terrorist activism breeding on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Not to mention, the White House, time and again, called out to Pakistan to adopt stringent measures against terrorism that allegedly bred from within its territories.

Trump’s reactions on Pakistan came as a shock to the world!
×

Trump recently accused Pakistan of providing ‘safe havens’ to terrorism and extremist groups.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump tweeted as the New Year dawned.

×

The Trump administration notes that Pakistan can reverse the aid cut by taking strategic and stringent measures.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif recently noted that while the country is trying to better its ties and balance relations with the White House, it will not take anything against its “national integrity”.

Khawaja also noted that the relationships between the two countries were normal before the US President made scathing remarks against Pakistan. “Pakistan can do without the US aid,” Asif noted.

×

Pakistan’s retaliatory stance is now been speculated with many fearing that the country could clip US access to routes used to supply American troops in Afghanistan.

US State Department added another twist in its plot with Pakistan when it recently announced placing Pakistan on a special watch list for “severe violations of religious freedoms” under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

The US defense department froze military payments to Pakistan in July 2017.

"Secretary Mattis has informed congressional defense committees that he was not able to certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient actions against the Haqqani network to permit full reimbursement of Fiscal Year 2016 Coalition Support Funds," Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

The past year saw Donald Trump sparing no opportunity to hint at the possibility of clamping down on Pakistan with harsher measures.

“We make massive payments every year to Pakistan… They have to help,” the President exclaimed recently.

×

The recent cut of aid to Pakistan is just a one of the many ways for the White House to put Islamabad under “pressure”.

The Trump administration has also given a thought to resorting to more stringent measures like removing Pakistan from US non-NATO allies.

Husain Haqqani, a Former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, previously noted that Trump’s stance on Pakistan is indicative of his administration’s “step-by-step plan to indicate that business as usual is no longer possible.”

While the US aid cut to Pakistan prevails, the White House celebrates Donald’s Trump one year of governance.

Meanwhile, tensions continue to simmer in Islamabad.

Fresh reports suggest that Pakistan can even decide to close air routes to Afghanistan, a move that will cripple US anti-terrorism military operations in Afghanistan.