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Don’t blame us

Speaking at an international conference, which was held in Germany’s Munich city on Saturday to discuss the world’s most pressing issues, the chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa yet again reminded the US authorities not to blame Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan. General Bajwa in his speech at the international event had raised some genuine questions, which have direct bearing on the promotion of regional peace. Moreover Gen. Bajwa asked the US authorities to give some thought to the reasons that had eventually led to its failures in Afghanistan instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat.

Pertinently, the bilateral relations between the two age-old allies touched the lowest ebb after Donlad J Trump’s controversial tweet. Particularly, the tensions between Islamabad and Washington intensified after the formal announcement of new South Asian Policy by the Trump administration raising qualms about the Pakistan’s co-operation and sincerity in its fight against terrorism. Notwithstanding the Pakistan’s role and peerless contribution in war against terror the US with a single stroke of the pen not just ignored the sacrifices of the country but put it in the dock.

In the aftermath, both sides exchanged hard and harsh statements against each other, which added fuel to the fire. Since then several attempts were made to narrow down the differences to put the bilateral relations back on the right track. To pacify the situation the US sent it’s acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells to Islamabad. Ambassador Alice admitted that Pakistan’s relationship with the United States needed to move forward under an environment of mutual trust and respect”. Acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts in eradicating terrorism she expressed her country’s desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of stabilizing Afghanistan. Later on army Chief Gen. Bajwa, during a phone call told to US Centcom commander that Pakistan would not be and has not been interested in the resumption of financial aid and it is time for the Trump administration to honour Pakistan’s contributions, sacrifices and its resolve against terrorism, which would continue with or without the US financial aid.

Pakistan has been a long time ally of the United States. Both the countries have partnered with each other on a number of times in the past. As both the countries have enjoyed friendly diplomatic and military ties over the past 70 years, it is hoped that the two sides will be able to sort out the differences whatsoever. The US-Pakistan bilateral relationship “regardless of its nature” has served the interests of the two countries. Purportedly, Pentagon is said to have opened another channel with the GHQ to normalize the strained ties. Since dialogue is the only way to seek peaceful settlement of bilateral differences it is hoped that contacts at military-to-military level would be helpful in bridging the trust deficit between the two countries.

But for mutually beneficial and win-win bilateral it is imperative that the US should acknowledge Pakistan’s role and the unprecedented sacrifices its people and armed forces have rendered during the years’ long battle against terrorism. Moreover the US should address Pakistan’s security aspirations and concerns in the region.

To ensure lasting peace in Afghanistan Gen. Bajwa in his speech in Munch said “It is time for these refugees to be repatriated with dignity. It is the only way we can ensure that no one is misusing our hospitality and soil for mischief in Afghanistan. This is possible at the fraction of the cost of the war in Afghanistan which is around $46 billion per year currently”.

General Qamar said of the last 130 terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s border areas last year, 123 were conceived, planned and executed from Afghanistan. Startling revelations made by the army chief must serve as an eye-opener for world community. It speaks volumes about the misuse of the Afghan soil against Pakistan. Blaming Pakistan and leveling allegations won’t really serve the purpose; time has come that the world community particularly the US should take a holistic review of its policies regarding Pakistan.

Pakistani nation as a whole has immensely contributed to fight this menace that has taken its heavy toll not only on its civilians but also its security forces. Needless to say, Pakistan economy suffered a loss of 123 billion dollars while fighting the war against terror as a frontline state.

Pakistan has always sought a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with the US to resolve difference whatsoever but as far as peace in Afghanistan is concerned rather than blaming Pakistan and doubting its intentions the US should look into the reasons that had actually led to its failure in the region.

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