America’s slap in NUG leaders’ face

Monday, 13 November 2017 03:30 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 42 times

The US Congress has authorized the provision of $700 million to Pakistan in return for its assistance in the ongoing war on terror. US Congress says Pakistan has accepted to meet US demands, and that it has taken some actions; therefore, it has authorized $350 million to be provided to Pakistan, followed by the remaining tranche of the aid once Pakistan takes more concrete steps. The US is seemingly asking Pakistan to move against the Haqqani network, and other militant groups considered a threat to American interests. 

 

Leaders of the National Unity Government often characterize the isolation of Pakistan as a major achievement, which they attribute to the successful Afghan foreign policy that convinced the international community, particularly the United States, to accept the fact that Pakistan was supporting terrorists, and to eliminate terrorism, it has to press Pakistan. The government leaders argue that Trump’s warnings to Pakistan while unveiling his strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia is an indication of the shift. 

As in many key international issues, there is always a dichotomy between what the US says and does in dealing with Pakistan. While all international media outlets have been talking about Pakistan’s support for the Taliban for about a decade, and there are also concrete evidence to support the argument such as the existence of Taliban’s Quetta and Peshawar Councils, the United States not only has not yet brought real pressure on Pakistan, but it has also mostly preferred Pakistan over Afghanistan which is the main victim of the ongoing so-called war on terror led by the superpower. During its military presence in Afghanistan, the United States has often given priority to Pakistan when it had to choose one between Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Despite the clear duplicity of the US, government leaders were happy that the US has changed its stance against Pakistan. They thought the US was honest in the war on terror, and if convinced that Pakistan was supporting terrorists, it would act against Islamabad. Although Pakistan is only the implementer of “American projects” in the region, Afghanistan is still not as important to the US as Pakistan is. The new congressional authorization of funds to Pakistan is the remuneration of the continuation of war to protect American interests, and a heavy slap in the face of National Unity Government leaders.