US military apologizes for offensive propaganda


The participants should not only have received a patient hearing they must also have been given a clear understanding of what Pakistan's strategic interests are and how to achieve them. It is hardly surprising therefore that the US no longer trusts Pakistan to act against the Taliban that is undermining the US Afghan campaign.

In Pakistan, there is disappointment on Trump's blame game.

In the face of mounting pressure from the US over Afghanistan, Islamabad has been quietly sending feelers out to Turkey and other nations in a bid to counter Washington's apparent new approach. Having spent years criticizing America's involvement in Afghanistan, he now appears inclined toward an open-ended commitment, but with no real ways to measure success and no hint of a timetable for withdrawal.

Second reason for Pakistan's anger is even more important. The Taliban has kept Pakistan's rival India at bay in Afghanistan. Indeed, it is not our job to sort out the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqanis, but we can not also provide them any relief by endangering our own country at the same time. All this was provocation pure and simple. Anti-India terror groups and their leaders, nominated as worldwide terrorists by the USA, with bounties of ten million dollars, roam freely in Pakistan, openly address the public and gather funds.

And Pakistan got provoked beyond reason.

"The Americans made a big mistake". A pungent response was unavoidable because the audience at home had to be reassured that their government could not be called names by anyone.

"People in Washington do not understand the ground realities of our region".

Anti-American sentiment runs deep in Pakistan.

Pakistan's growing love affair with China had been earning Pakistan a bad name in the United States policy making structure during Obama's tenure in White House and the US's displeasure towards this relationship is now clearly reflected in Trump's policy. "No partnership can survive a country's harboring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials", said Trump as a blunt message to Pakistan. Today, we have U.S. military forces building schools and delivering development aid projects in Afghanistan - a job that is not what they are sent for. Surely, Delhi will not relish Afghanistan having a common border with India and Taliban knocking at India's gate.

"We have already said that there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan", Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir told a meeting of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defence, claiming that 40 per cent of Afghanistan was a safe hideout for militants. Then, in 2011, the United States developed an obsession with rampant corruption in Kabul that undermined the US nation-building efforts. He warned Pakistan that its partnership with the United States can not survive if Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists. Any arrangements involving financial dealings of this kind can threaten the closest of friendships. But India has given in to the old adage-my enemy's (Pakistan) enemy (Afghanistan) is my friend. China has been an all-weather ally of Pakistan and has often been the only country to echo Pakistan's assertion that the country has been doing a lot to put down terrorism and in fact many innocent Pakistani citizens had lost their lives in terror attacks. A word of caution against using harsh words about any fellow member of the comity of nations.

Referring to reports that Afghanistan is endowed with almost $1 trillion in mineral resources, he wryly observed, "I'm sure the moon has even more mineral wealth, but you need a way to get it out to markets". In fact, more than challenging India and checking its brutal suppression of the Kashmiri struggle, such groups pose a much greater threat to Pakistan's internal security and inter-faith harmony.