Tweeting Trump Angers Pakistan

Published November 22nd, 2018 - 07:58 GMT
President Donald Trump (AFP)
President Donald Trump (AFP)

U.S. President Donald Trump's recent comments and tweets against Pakistan have renewed tensions between the two countries, analysts said.

"The bilateral relationship between U.S. and Pakistan is already a mess and what Trump said didn't represent anything new, however his latest tirade will further complicate efforts to restore much-needed trust in bilateral relations," Michael Kugelman, a Washington-based analysts and a senior program associate for South Asia in The Wilson Centre, told Anadolu Agency in an email.

Kugelman said the U.S. needs Pakistan all the more to pitch peace talks with the Afghan Taliban.

"This process [peace talks with Taliban] can't succeed unless Pakistan is on board," he added.

 

On Monday, a war of words erupted between Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter after the U.S. president’s recent statement saying Pakistan has not done "a damn thing" for the U.S.

"We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That's ENDING!" Trump tweeted.

Responding to Trump, Khan said: "Trump's false assertions add insult to the injury Pak has suffered in US WoT [War on Terror] in terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs. He needs to be informed abt [about] historical facts. Pak has suffered enough fighting US's war. Now we will do what is best for our people & our interests."

Ijaz Khan, an Islamabad-based analyst, said: "Exchange of these tweets show the ties between Washington and Islamabad are worsening, however the statement released by Pentagon a day after Trump's tweets calling Pakistan an ally means U.S. still wants to avoid complete breakdown and wants Pakistan's cooperation on Afghan issue."

Trump's new statement against Pakistan came a day after his top diplomat for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, reportedly met for the second time during the last two months with Afghan Taliban leaders in Qatar.

Islamabad-based defense analyst retired Brig. Said Nazeer said: “Trump's trying to pressurize Pakistan to 'do more' but this policy could damage the cooperation between both countries and Washington could lose existing Pakistani support.”

According to Pakistani authorities, last month they released Mullah Baradar, a senior Taliban leader along with two others on U.S. request.

Historically Pakistan and U.S. relations have never remained exemplary.

However after 9/11, Pakistan assumed an important position in Washington circles and became the main ally in the U.S. war against terrorism in 2001.

According to Pakistani authorities, the country suffered 75,000 casualties and over $123 billion in losses to their economy in the war against terror, but Washington has never acknowledged their sacrifices.

"America knows that they cannot win the Afghan war and now is going to repeat its old rhetoric, trying to give more space to India in Afghanistan and leave Pakistan in trouble," Nazeer concluded.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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