Is it Really an Afghan Policy
By Ali Sukhanver
The US president Donald Trump is really a wonderful orator, an excellent speaker and no doubt a master of words. He has an ability of mesmerizing the audience with his magical style of speech and with his outstanding body language. It is also very much true that he is a man with extra ordinary nerves as he has been facing a lot of opposition with a pleasant smile since after his election as the President of USA. It is also true that his political opponents have spent their all possible vigour in digging out anything which could defame and disrepute President Trump but he never lost his temperament. We see none of his predecessors particularly Mr. Obama ever experiencing such type of insulting and degrading opposition although Obama was not amongst the white people but President Trump ever remained confident. Unfortunately with reference to his recent speech on Afghan policy, people found him in a strange mental condition; somewhat confused, somewhat desperate.
Listening to his speech on Afghan policy, one’s mind goes back to an article published in The New York Times of 16th December, 2016. The title of the article was ‘Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy.’ The article said, “The clearest warning sign is the ascent of anti-democratic politicians into mainstream politics. Drawing on a close study of democracy’s demise in 1930s Europe, the eminent political scientist Juan J. Linz designed a “litmus test” to identify anti-democratic politicians. His indicators include a failure to reject violence unambiguously, a readiness to curtail rivals’ civil liberties, and the denial of the legitimacy of elected governments. Mr. Trump tests positive. In the campaign, he encouraged violence among supporters; pledged to prosecute Hillary Clinton; threatened legal action against unfriendly media; and suggested that he might not accept the election results.” So his speech on Afghan policy proved that the article was telling a truth. The words he selected, the thoughts he expressed and the style he adopted to blame an old ally was certainly not very much adorable, rather not ‘American-Like’. He said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations…. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order and to peace.” This could have been the statement of a person with no knowledge and no awareness of the political ups and downs particularly with reference to Afghanistan; it doesn’t seem the statement of the American president, the leader of an ‘all-knowing nation.’
Even a man in the street is aware of the services rather sacrifices Pakistan has been rendering for a long term peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. If Pakistan had not supported US in Afghanistan, the US could not stay there even for a week. It is a sheer misconception on part of the American president that Dollars could compensate for blood and life. Billions and billions of dollars very kindly ‘showered’ upon Pakistan by the US government could not equal even a single life ‘burnt’ to ashes in hundreds of suicidal attacks in Pakistan. It is something very strange that nobody told Honourable Mr. Trump that the terrorists who still have safe havens in Afghanistan took revenge from Pakistan for helping and supporting US’ intrusion in Afghanistan. It is very much astonishing that Mr. Trump could not feel the grief and sorrow of the parents whose innocent children were slaughtered in the Army Public School Peshawar; that massacre was also a reaction to Pakistan’s support to US in Afghanistan. Again it is very shocking that nobody informed Mr. Trump about the economic loss Pakistan has been facing for the assistance it provided in the name of the so-called war on terror, the war which was purely initiated by the US. Mr. Trump must pay a visit to Pakistan and see it himself that today from schools and colleges, public parks, markets and government offices to the mosques and other places of worship, every institution has to spend a lot in the name of security measures. The government of Pakistan has spent millions of dollars on different operations against the terrorists; from Operation Zarb-e-Azb to the recent Operation Raddul Fasaad, the list is very long; and certainly the loss of precious lives of army, police and intelligence officers cannot be calculated in term of dollars. Mr. Trump might be having in his memory the pain and agony of relatives of those who lost their lives in the Twin-Towers incident commonly known as 9/11. Could millions and billions and trillions of dollars compensate the agony of those wretched ones? What else Honorable Mr. Trump expects from Pakistan in the so-called war on terror which in fact never belonged to Pakistan but in the larger interest of the nations around Pakistan had to own it with all sincerity and devotion. It is the proper time that Mr. Trump must review his misunderstandings about Pakistan. He has all authority and liberty of promoting India as a peace-loving country but he must not expect from Pakistan that it would help out India in becoming the care-taker of Afghanistan.