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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2035

Trump Afghan Policy is Danger to Peace

By Zaheerul Hassan

Both houses of Pakistani Parliaments Senate and National Assembly passed a resolution on 30 August 2017, strongly condemned US President Donald Trump's statement and his allegations that Islamabad is behind prolonged war in Afghanistan, denouncing as "hostile" and "threatening."

In response, complete political elite sounded unanimously on the issue and out rightly condemned Trump statement in connection to Pakistan. The government justly asked Washington to postpone US delegations visit to Pakistan. Regrettably, speaking political and military elite probably now started believing that American’s current set up do not respect Pakistani sacrifices in the war against terrorism and successes achieved against terrorists’ organizations. groups like Al- Qaeda, Daesh and Pakistani Taliban (TTP).

In this context, carefully calculated figures reveal that Pakistan has suffered more than 74,000 casualties, lost over 5500 security elements and damage costed to economy was over 123 billion dollars in militant attacks since it joined the US war on terror after September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. According to Director General Inter Services Relations, Major General Ghafoor , Army Spokesman, stated that just in almost 9 months 124,000 operations intelligence based operation have been carried out since February 2017 all over Pakistan.

Unfortunately, instead of acknowledging scarifies, Washington always fumes about inaction against the Taliban, promoting terrorism, and giving undue advantage to increase Indian influence in Afghanistan. Notably, as result of US favour, traditional rivals India and President Ghani of Afghanistan endorsed Trump’s viewpoints, thereby confirming troika’s malicious design against Pakistan.

Recent militants’ actions in Balochistan, KPK, Karachi and other cities clearly indicates that CIA in collaboration with RAW and NDS (Indian and Afghanistan’s intelligence Agencies) are behind terrorism in Pakistan. They have made elaborated intelligence arrangements and network to achieve ultimate aims of destabilizing region, containing China, sabotaging or delaying progress over CPEC and Gwadar Port. In this connection, arrest of serving Indian Naval officer, Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav, from Balochistan on 3rd March 2016 has completely exposed Indian involvement in Balochistan militancy. Kulbushan confessed the act of spying, terrorism, murder of innocent people, caused extensive damage to property and targeting Shia and Sunni elements to foment sectarian terrorism in Pakistan. In a fair trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to death on charges of espionage, sabotage and terrorism. Currently, his mercy petition is pending with “Chief of Army Staff,".

Anyhow, realization of development of Balochistan is being felt at all levels since it has direct bearing over the prosperity of Baloch nation, CPEC and strategically vital Gwadar Port. The same was asserted by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, while visiting Gwadar Port on 4 September 2017, he clearly put across the message that completion of CPEC project would be ensured well in time and at all cost. Mover, Gen Bajwa, while addressing a Defence Day ceremony at General Headquarters, called on the world to "do more" against terrorism.

He stated, "Despite all our efforts, our countless sacrifice and over two decades of war, we are being told that we have not done enough against terrorism," the army chief said. "If Pakistan has not done enough in this war, then no country in the world has done anything. He also made it clear that only Pakistan has seen this level of success with such limited resources. From Operation Sher Dil, to Rah-i-Rast, Rah-i-Nijat, Zarb-i-Azab and now Radd-ul-Fasaad, we have paid for each inch [of gains] with our blood. Truly speaking, at this point of time COAS has successfully and forcefully conveyed nationwide feelings to the global actors that enough is enough and now we will not tolerate any aggression or misadventure against Pakistani sovereignty.

In fact, US and its allied country India have started yelling against the construction of strategically import port and CPEC since then the former President Zardari signed an MOU of handing over its operational control to China in 2013.

US President Donald Trump announced Afghan policy on August 22, 2017. During explanation of gist of the policy, he idiotically targeted Pakistan just to cover up American’s Forces’ defeat against local Taliban groups in Afghanistan. In this regards authenticated sources many times mentioned that present Afghan government practically has no control over the country, since more than 60% Afghanistan is under control of Taliban. While crticising Islamabad, Trump deliberately avoided admittance of sacrifices and losses suffered by Pakistani security forces in global war against terrorism. He also avoided recognition generous efforts of intelligence setups of targeting, arresting and handing over top leadership of Al-Qaida to its US counterpart intelligence setups. On the other hand, Afghanistan under the supervision of US is providing shelters and proving as safe haven of those top listed wanted terrorists like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Maulvi Fazlullah and BNA militants involved in carrying out extensive militancy all over Pakistan.

Therefore, asking Pakistan to “DO MORE” otherwise be ready to face its consequences is just a covert design against first line partner of global war and making efforts to give more ingress and leading role to India in regional geopolitics. While, threatening, he has also forgotten that Pakistan is maintaining well trained Armed Forces and equipped with the latest low yield nuclear arsenals. Pakistan is also a responsible nuclear state that has second strike capability with the ability to take initiative to defeat and suppress any aggression and misadventure if launched against her by its rivals. At the same time Pakistan is taking fool proof precautions for the security of the nuclear system. In response to Trump threat, Pakistan´s military also brushed off the prevailing speculations while reiterating that security forces are ready to evict terrorism and also has the capability to defend motherland. In this connection, in recently held one of the press conference responding to a question on the issue, army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said, "Even if it comes... Pakistan shall do whatever is best in the national interest."

Trump threat and reservations have been noticed with concern, very seriously, condemned and rejected by all segments of Pakistani society. In this connection, on August 24, 2017, a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was held in Islamabad and out rightly rejected Trump allegations of duplicity. The NSC also warned against scapegoating Pakistan for failures in Afghan War. Earlier, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa very clearly recapped that Pakistan is not in need of American’s dollars but off course need acknowledgement of its contributions and sacrifices in bringing peace and elimination of terrorism. Former President Zardari also stated that Pakistan is not an Afghanistan where American troops be able to land and carryout operation in the area of their own choice. In fact, Pentagon should remind Trump to avoid confrontation and issuance of such type of stupid statements against the country that is the major partner of war against terrorism and has the ability to fight back with its full strength too. Trump should also remember that making India happy over the cost of Pakistan will only damage American objective of completely elimination of terrorism.

Other prominent religious and political leaders like JUI and PTI chiefs have also condemned Trump statement and demanded the stoppage of providing assistance while using route facility to maintain NATO and American forces based in Afghanistan. Point to be remembered here that during Zardari regime, govt of Pakistan has discontinued the route facility to maintain US troops when NATO helicopters fired on a Pakistani border check post on November 26, 2011, in which 28 soldiers including one Major and Capt martyred and many injured. Salala check post is located, about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from the Afghan border in the Mohmand region of Pakistan’s tribal belt. The attack could have been turned into a new flash point in the already strained PAK-US relationship, if American govt would have not been sought excuse over the raid.

Therefore, now once again after receiving Trump Threat, Pakistan is reconsidering to put embargo over NAT0 supply since Islamabad is very well aware of the fact that US led NATO forces operating has no choice to go for alternate route supply without using Pakistani roads to resupply its troops in landlocked Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, international community led by China and Russia also came up to show solidity with Pakistan and condemned Trump statement against Pakistan. In response to Trump threat Chinese spokesman said that any effort to isolate Pakistan would face problems from China, which has deepened political and military ties with Islamabad and invested nearly $60 billion in infrastructure in Pakistan.

But again on 4 September 2017, India at the occasions of BRICS Summit China’s Xiamen cleverly remained successful in including the name some of Pakistani religious groups Lashkar-e-Taiba(LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammad(JEM) which are ethically supporting Kashmiris liberators. However, China and Pakistan are all weather tested friends. Pakistan has rejected final declaration of BRICS Summit and asserted that she has zero tolerance toward militants and cannot not allow any organization struggling for Kashmir to use her territory against China. However, Chinese think tank have also critcised the final declaration of BRICS since it anaylsed that including name of LET and JEM is an in fact is an Indian try to strain relations between two allies. i.e. China and Pakistan.

Therefore, to mitigate the effects of declaration China have invited Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and reaffirmed its continuing and firm support for Pakistan in war against terrorism while saying both the countries are steady anchors for peace in the region. In this regard, while addressing a joint press conference with Pakistani counterpart in Beijing, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi emphasised that China fully backs Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and supports its neighbour in safeguarding its sovereignty.

Any, Trump, if serious in bringing peace in Afghanistan, has to take certain steps in border management through fencing, as Pakistan is laying fence over 3600KM long border. Eviction of Indian training camp and intelligence setups involved in fomenting terrorism, targeting or handing back of Pakistani terrorists like chief Maulvi Fazlullah who are enjoying Afghan hospitality. Seeking Pakistani help in conducting negotiations with Taliban and curtailing Indian role in construction of Afghanistan since she is covertly playing intelligence game to spread terrorism in Pakistan. Lastly, Trump should analyse the real factors of US defeat instead thinking of launching any misadventure against a South Asian nuclear state. He must know such type of action against Pakistan may prove a graveyard of US marines as happened in Vietnam.

It will also jeopardies mission of elimination terrorism. Furthermore, BRICS should also know that prevailing terrorism and extremism in South Asia being spread by militant groups based in Afghanistan and India as highlighted Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on 5 September 2017. He rightly indicated that the [banned] Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and its associates like Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA) and BNA have been responsible for extreme acts of violence against Pakistani people. In this context he stressed that, "We are deeply concerned at the presence of [banned] groups, like Daesh, East Turkestan Islamic Movement and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, in the ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan as they pose a threat to peace and security in the region.

In short, US President Trump has to mend his way towards Muslims since no peace can be long lasting if actors involved in it start compromising their own interests over global terrorism.

- Asian Tribune –

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