25 Aug 2017/Friday
It all started with President Obama telling his advisers in 2009
“We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan”, , sending his CIA chief and national security advisor to Islamabad to deliver the message.
In 2011, with Hillary Clinton the then Secretary of State Warned Pak
“You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours”,
America’s top military officer publicly declared that the Haqqani network was “a veritable arm” of Pakistani intelligence.
Now US President has not only warned Pakistan but also cut the much needed aid. He launched a blistering attack on Pakistan, publicly articulating what his predecessors only said in private.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” declared the president. “It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace”.
On 24 Aug 17, Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State warned Pak that it could lose status of non-Nato ally if it continues giving safe haven to terrorists, including Afghan militant groups. This was followed by more threats from Tillerson and the National Security Council spokesman in the backdrop of Mr Trump applauding India’s “important contributions to stability in Afghanistan”, urging New Delhi to play a larger role.
Ironically, Pakistan’s reactions have been quite hostile to the threats from its one time ally. Confident of billions of Chinese dollars flowing-in, unabated, the Pak COAS chided US by saying that it only required the appreciation of Pak’s anti-terror efforts and not the aid. However, it’s not entirely clear how far China is willing to go to bail out Pakistan, financially or politically.
Domestically, Pakistan has continued supporting militants despite the death of 20,000 innocent civilians in terrorist attacks over the past 15 years. In another way its own policies are directed towards its own citizens. Therefore playing a victim card is not going to convince the world.
Will Pakistan amend itself ?