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Trump’s policy on Pakistan to impact India,Afghanistan

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US President Donald Trump’s foreign and strategic policy on Pakistan will have significant affect on India  and Afghanistan .

With Trump signing executive orders including a ban on immigration from seven Muslims countries affected by terrorism has left the government of Pakistan worried about  being isolated among the countries with Islamic terrorists that may likely result in imposition of economic sanction or any types of curbs that may hit hard the country’s future .

Nawaz Sharif government immediately issued an order to place  Hafiz Muhammad Saeed,head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore.This decision has been condemned by various groups of Pakistan society on the ground as stated by Saeed “I believe that this is not aimed at me but is an international conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the Kashmir struggle.”

While Pakistan government has started showing signs of delivering on the war against terrorism ,Trump’s core team of Defence Secretary James Mattis, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon  and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson  are in the process of laying down strategies for countries affected by terrorism.

Trump has stated in a first televised interview that citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia will have to go through extreme vetting process in all the categories before entering the United States.

Further Trump had already threatened to cut aid to Pakistan as Islamabad is not seriously clamping down on terrorists. Despite of US-Pakistan close ties of more than six decades, Pakistan is actively controlling AFghan Taliban to continue conflict in Afghanistan while Islamabad considers Afghanistan as its strategic depth to fight proxy wars against India.

 Pakistan having completed military operations under Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan by destroying safe havens of terrorists is now engaged in introducing new legislation that will merge Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA area) into the adjacent province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This will integrate the restive region into Pakistan’s legal, economic  and political mainstream. It will have major implications for domestic stability as well as country’s relations with  Afghanistan and its fight against terrorism.

But the existence of ISI and Pakistan military having their own approach of supporting terror organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba/ Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jaish-e-Mohammad,the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network run counter to the civilian government approach  and that complicates the matter.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani controls less than 60% of the country while Talibans have spread their control to more than 42% of the area,who have set a condition for joining the Ghani government asking for American troops to withdraw from Afghanistan .But Trump is contemplating to not to withdraw NATO led troops from  Afghanistan .

Moreover US watchdog special inspector general for Afghanistan, John F Sopko said the US has spent more in Afghanistan than America spent on the reconstruction of Europe after World War Two . Further added “After 15 years Afghanistan still cannot support itself financially or functionally.” Therefore Prime Minister Narendra Modi  should assist Afghanistan with weapons only and not with financial aid .

Handling Afghanistan and Pakistan will be challenge for Trump as stability and peace is vital for the region so that jihadists of Islamic State may not  regroup and strike links with Al-Qaeda or Taliban .

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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