- Saman Hamid
There are times when denying facts is one of the most difficult things to do. The hardcore reality of Pakistan is that post Rah-e-Nijaat, Zarb-e-Azb and now Radd-ul-Fassad Pakistan has changed for good. If anything the people have greater awareness about the menace and statistics hint at the general calm that has prevailed over the years. Mr. Trump recently tried to escape goat Pakistan in his recent Afghan policy statement he said quite a few things that echoed with Mr. Narendar Modi, whose country’s General BipinRawatrecently gave one of the least responsible statement for calling Indians to be ready on war on two fronts with China and Pakistan. Amidst the hurricanes, the statements from global leaders one of the best news comes surprisingly from the US as well. Senator John McCain, visited Pakistan along with; Senator Lindsey Olin, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Sheldon all visited Pakistan chiefly the Northern areas and what they had to say is more than encouraging for all of us, “”We come back with a message that we have a common enemy in ISIS, radical Islam and terrorism, and we look forward to closer relations and resolving the differences we have,” McCain said, while he met with Pakistan’s top brass. The senators lauded the efforts of the armed forces and were highly appreciative of their efforts. “I cannot stress how impressed I am with what has happened in the last two years. It speaks well of Pakistan Army and people in this region and there’s no turning back now that they have rejected terrorism and it’s upto us working together to make sure that terrorism stays out of this area.” Said Senator Lindsey Olin.
At a time when the President of the United States has negatively shed light on Pakistan’s role in the War on Terror leaving our people skeptical of the intentions of the first world power it is very important to seek alliances. Let us not forget that the internal situation in the Great Country. The runner up to Mr. Trump has implied back door Russian connections to get her derailed from her White house aspirations, the former first lady won the popular vote and was ousted due to the electoral college. From Charlottesville to supporting white supremacists, to supporting the Mexican border wall to now hundreds of billions in damages from both hurricane Irma and Harvey. Mr. Trump at 56% calling him unpopular, things are anything but easy at home for the President. As far as foreign policy is concerned the United States’ missteps continue not only in South Asia but most importantly in South East Asia, namely North Korea, that has recently tested the Hydrogen bomb near Japan and another one hours ago tensions are high and confrontation is looming but the main question is whether the US will engage directly or indirectly in another war, their affiliation with the South is more than apparent.
It is no secret that the American stance on Afghanistan and open invitation to India to intervene while there are demands to do more before more aid is promised to Pakistan, is not a complete surprise. It is a diplomatic challenge for Pakistan and the congressional delegation is a step in the right direction. Haqqani network and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are a problem for everyone but to imply sanctuaries in Pakistan displays willful ignorance on the part of US which will only be detrimental to their efforts to seek an end to the war in the long run. A war which has cost more than $1 Trillion to date, it is pertinent to revisit Mr. Tony Blair’s apology about the Iraq war, an apology for an error which came too late and no amounts of hue and cry can justify the human loss on both sides. Even as we speak ISIS is getting stronger footing in Afghanistan and Ghani and Trump regime can turn a blind eye as much as they like but some very recent events such as the Kabul bombing indicate an internal dissent that is growing and aiding the terrorists.
It is an open secret that there have been direct and indirect assault on CPEC by the Indians, Kulbhshan’s confession about discord in Baluchistan and open demands from Indians on the areas in Kashmir falling under the CPEC umbrella all point to the displeasure the entire project has brought across borders, needless to say the right amount of synergies are not explored by all parties and only one thing is visible to the nay-sayers and nonbelievers, Pakistan breaking the shackles of economic dependence.
The Congressional delegation went to Afghanistan and the tone reflected to the desires of the Ghani regime and Trump’s stance largely but for Pakistan the message is clear. No one can take away our success in Waziristan and whole of Pakistan, the delegation’s statement and admiration seemed in no way forced and the stance that was later taken in Afghanistan reflects what all the regimes have been hammering at this region more subtly in the beginning but now with a brash regime like Mr. Trump’s the message have become more explicit. Where there is will there is a way, we are literally sitting on a gold mine as far as getting blessed with economic potential, the need of the hour is to recognize it with the right people. Our military has made possible what the Soviets and Americans could not do in Afghanistan and with the grace of Allah it is more than sustainable as we are an Islamic Republic after all and that seems to be a huge factor, all we need is to trust ourselves as people and take advantage of the situation and potential. The threats and compliments are completely dependent on us in terms of interpretation.