BEIJING - Chinese government as well as private and government run media has relentlessly defended Islamabad against US aggressive policy.
While offering the background of US-Pakistan relations and how Islamabad took unpopular decisions in war against terrorism, a recent article in Chinese newspaper Global Times said Washington has paid back Pakistan’s cooperation with enmity.
It said Pakistan was safe and stable country before the US invasion of Afghanistan.
The article said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf decided to join hands with the US in the war on terror under huge pressure and launched a crackdown against the Afghan Taliban.
It said overthrowing the Taliban government in Kabul was purely a move to cater to the US since neither the Taliban nor Al-Qaeda hurt Pakistan’s interests.
The author says the country sacrificed a lot with its decision to move against the Taliban.
The Times wrote that Pakistan bore the brunt of its decision in the shape of deadly terror attacks launched by the insurgents who plunged Pakistan in a decade long turmoil.
Criticizing US State Department announcement regarding suspension of security assistance to Pakistan, the author said the turmoil caused by the US war deterred foreign investors, triggered capital outflow and wasted development opportunities. “It is estimated the war on terror has caused losses of hundreds of billions of dollars to Pakistan, a figure far beyond the US aid worth $33 billion,” the article said.
“In fact, the so-called US security aid to Pakistan is what the US should pay. The US military used Pakistani bases; the US air force occupied its airspace; the US ground transport vehicles passed over its territory, all of which damaged its infrastructure. The cancelled assistance, estimated at $250 million, cannot even cover the road tolls and the maintenance fees of the highways. In addition, the participation of Pakistani soldiers in the fighting has greatly reduced US casualties."
Rejecting US claims that Islamabad was not willing to take indiscriminate action against militants, it said “It's not that Pakistan was not fully engaged in the war on terror, but terrorists are too obstinate. “
“Over the past 16 years, the US organized hundreds of thousands of NATO troops, took out advanced, powerful weapons and spent trillions of dollars under the guise of combating terrorism. However, it still failed to root out terror and extremist groups in Afghanistan but instead pinned the blame on Pakistan”
Fighting the Pakistan's case, the paper argued that if the fence put up on the US-Mexico border with razor-sharp concertina wire cannot stop Mexicans from entering the US then how can. the 2,400-kilometer-long Pakistan-Afghanistan border along intertwined mountains and valleys can stop civilians from crossing, let alone terrorists.
Urging the need for US to cooperate with Pakistan and other stakeholders, the paper said censuring Pakistan is of no help in solving the issue.
The Chinese newspaper said Pakistan’s cooperation with US was imperative to win the war and it would definitely collapse withoutit.
If Pakistan's national interests and security cannot be ensured, the region will never see peace and stability. But if Trump's real intention is to maintain US military presence in the region by keeping the turmoil alive, he will probably have his way with this new policy.