President Donald Trump had tweeted on New Year's Day that the United States had given Pakistan 33 billion dollars in aid over the last fifteen years but received nothing except lies and deceit in return.
Debates and reactions triggered by his tweet are still on. Trump’s warning that there won’t be any more aid for Pakistan naturally provoked that nation while it brought elation to India. Since Trump is not someone known for sensible pronouncements or consistent policies, the world is eagerly looking forward to the subsequent moves by the US government. Whatever the case, international observers who analyse the repercussions opine that Trump’s decision would succeed neither in isolating Pakistan nor in bringing immense gain for America. Though America had announced an aid of 110 crore dollars in 2016, the US State Department has informed that about 255 million dollars have been suspended. It has been made clear that the US was provoked due to lack of decisive action against the Taliban, the Haqqani chain and terrorist organisations. The other day, CIA chief Mike Pompeo accused Pakistan of providing a safe haven to terrorists. Pompeo also said that if Pakistan was ready to fix its problems, then the US was willing to continue engaging with them. Indications are that the Trump administration will initiate stringent action against Pakistan in the coming days. And it would not be a surprise if Trump, who banned entry for visitors from six Muslim-majority countries, adopts a similarly rigid stance against Pakistan, a seventh Muslim country.
However, it is notable that it was not a soft reaction that came from Pakistan which since its inception has been a close ally of America. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who claimed that they had received only an insignificant amount as aid for taking action against terrorists, also questions America’s claims of suspending the financial aid of 2 billion dollars. Pakistan has reportedly received only ten million dollars a year from the US over the last five years. He has also threatened to disclose soon the actual details of the aid received. Abbasi has also cited the massive loss suffered by his nation in the name of war on terror. It is only a fact that the horrifying military actions initiated by America against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda following the terrorist attack on World Trade Centre were with the cooperation and support of Pakistan, and that it was Pakistan itself that paved way for easy access to the NATO army deployed in Afghanistan as well as backed the smuggling of arms. It is an undeniable truth that thousands of civilians were killed in the frequent bombings carried out by US drone aircraft along the Pak borders in the name of uprooting Taliban and that the people there turned completely against the Pakistan government and the army. Still, if the US or the puppet government in Kabul failed to achieve its goals, Pakistan alone should not be blamed; the wrong policy positions of America also had played its part.
At the same time, one cannot help observing that Pakistan - ever destined to be a pawn of America - failed in strengthening relations with neighbours including India, and in formulating free and robust internal and external policies, and that the country is paying the price for that failure. The setbacks it suffered were a result of seeing the Kashmir issue as its sole concern, and of letting the military have excessive dominance in government.
Pakistan for now on is seeking refuge at the feet of Asia's No: One power and one of the big powers in the world, China. China, which has already made it clear that it will oppose the US stance of linking Pakistan with terrorism, has also declared that it will stand by Pakistan against any US threat. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman has said that international co-operation against terrorism has to be strengthened and that Pakistan has made great sacrifices in this matter. Given the fact that Pakistan's co-operation is essential to actualize China's dream project of the 900 billion dollar 'Silk Road', it cannot do without Pakistan. All the same, it cannot be ignored that China's relations with India are far from warm. Further, in its efforts and plan to check China, America sees India as a power to ally with. A deployment of Indian military in Afghanistan, which has virtually been making US forces bite dust, has been a part of US agenda. All put together, things seem to be clearing the way for a power struggle with an America-Israel-India axis on the one hand, and a China-Pakistan-Russia collaboration on the other. Therefore, what is called for from our side is watchful moves, not putting all faith in US change of policy towards Pakistan, but keeping the best national interests in mind.