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WION Edit: US, Pak want to bury hatchet in Afghan people’s back

Pakistan PM Imran Khan (L) in meeting with US President Donald Trump (R). Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi Jul 24, 2019, 08.44 PM (IST) Reported By: Shastri Ramachandaran Written By: Shastri Ramachandaran

"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!"

That was President Donald Trump on January 1, 2018.

Less than 17 months later, after meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the White House for 30 minutes, Trump changed his policy, position and pronouncements on Pakistan. 

He now wants the world to believe that Pakistan is not to blame for what it did. Instead, it is Trump’s predecessors who are to blame for Pakistan’s duplicity, deceit and depredations, for they did not command Pakistan’s respect. In other words, Trump does not hold Pakistan’s policies, its fomenting terrorism and sustaining the Taliban responsible for the fraught situation in Afghanistan and the region.

After his pow-wow with Khan, Trump said that Pakistan can do a tremendous amount with regard to Afghanistan. He also said: I could win that war within a week, I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

These remarks have caused shock and revulsion, especially in Afghanistan and India. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has asked Trump to clarify his remarks.

Bizarre as the remarks sound, they are laced with intent and purpose, and constitute policy. A policy to dump New Delhi and deny India its stakeholder role in Afghanistan; undermine the elected government and people of Afghanistan; and, in concert with Pakistan, prop up the Taliban as “good terrorists”.

Thus has the US reversed its 20-year-old policy on Afghanistan? Washington now believes that Pakistan will help it get out of Afghanistan, which would be handed over to Pakistan and its proxy, the Taliban.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)

Shastri Ramachandaran

The author, Editorial Consultant for WION, is a political and foreign affairs commentator.

Story highlights

After meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the White House for 30 minutes, Trump changed his policy, position and pronouncements on Pakistan.