US President Donald Trump attacked Pakistan for “doing nothing” to combat terrorism, but it was Washington’s own past policies which led to the rise of the Islamist militants in the region, a foreign affairs expert told RT.
“Pakistan is more a victim of the war in Afghanistan than a creator of the problem as Trump is trying to imply,” Alessandro Bruno, a senior analyst at Lombardi Letter told RT.
“Very few remember that the whole problem started in the 1980s, when the US used Islamic fundamentalist proxies in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.”
During the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, the CIA provided arms and money to the Islamist mujahideen resistance movement through a covert program dubbed ‘Operation Cyclone.’ After the Soviets left, former mujahideen commander Mohammed Omar founded the Taliban.
Trump had repeatedly accused Pakistan of not being successful at combating terrorism in the region. On Monday, he went on a tirade, blasting the government in Islamabad for doing “nothing” for the US. Trump also held the nation responsible for sheltering the 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and threatened to cut all aid.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 19 ноября 2018 г.
Earlier this year, Trump lamented that the US had been “foolishly” providing billions of military aid to Pakistan and got only “lies and deceit” in return. The Pentagon followed up on his words in September by suspending the delivery of $300 million of assistance.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan responded on Monday, saying the nation lost 75,000 people and over $123 billion in the war against terror, in contrast to the “miniscule” figures of aid from Washington. “Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury” the state suffered in the US-led war on terror “in terms of lives lost” and “economic costs,” Khan argued.
Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury Pak has suffered in US WoT in terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs. He needs to be informed abt historical facts. Pak has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people & our interests
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) 19 ноября 2018 г.
Political analyst Alessandro Bruno stressed that the White House must first clarify its goals in Afghanistan “once and for all,” and only then it will make sense to discuss the situation on the ground with Islamabad. Pakistan is indeed dependent on assistance from the US, but Trump “won’t be able to keep up the semblance of cutting off aid for too long,” the Bruno argued.
“Pakistan is still a central piece in the US strategy, even as vague as it is.”
Islamabad has nuclear weapons and recently dropped its neutrality in the war in Yemen and offered to mediate in the conflict, so it is crucial for Washington to keep Pakistan close, Bruno noted. He added that by actively alienating the nation, the US would bring it closer to states like China and Russia.
“The confluence of interests will force the US to get back to Pakistan.”
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