US kicks off a dangerous game of stick and carrot for Pakistan

US kicks off a dangerous game of stick and carrot for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Donald Trump administration in Washington DC has taken on a stick and carrot policy towards Pakistan.

On one side US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has appreciated the role of Pakistan Army and on the other hand  US Commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has blamed Pakistan for the Taliban support against US and NATO army.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis and COAS General Qamar Bajwa had a telephonic talk on Thursday and Secretary lauded the role of Pakistan army in combating terror and on the other hand top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson called for a "holistic review" of the relationship with Pakistan.

James Mattis was all positive and recalled the sacrifices rendered by the people and armed forces of Pakistan in the fight against terrorists and praised their resilience.

They shared pleasantries and reaffirmed their commitment towards the common goal of bringing about peace in the region and discussed measures aimed at achieving that goal.

This was one side of the story.

Gen Nicholson, in a briefing told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "our complex relationship with Pakistan is best assessed through a holistic review," signaling a harsher policy under President Donald Trump´s administration.

He added that ties with Pakistan would be a priority in his discussions with US Defence Secretary James Mattis and the White House, which has given little details on its strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

US General John Nicholson has also urged United States State department and the authorities concerned to enhance the number of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan as Afghan National Army is unable to with stand the onslaught of the Afghan Taliban.

US Commander has sensed that Afghan Army along with the hand full of US and NATO forces are unable to defeat the Afghan Taliban.

The blame game seems to be a frustrated measure on the behest of the US Commander.

After President Donald taking over the reins of power in Washington although US policy towards Afghanistan is not fully unveiled but the blame game and the oft quoted mantra of Do More has started to re appear against Pakistan.

Pakistan may be squeezed in coming days by the US defence authorities as US Military authorities may put the blame of deteriorating Afghan situation upon Pakistan.

US Defence authorities are unable to win war in Afghanistan and hence looking for a scapegoat to put the burden on Pakistan.

With rising involvement of Russia, China and Iran in Afghanistan affairs the situation in Afghanistan is likely to go further against US and NATO forces and hence Pakistan is going to feel the heat further from the US defence circles.

The new strategy adopted by the US administration is alarming for Pakistan as the coming days may see much repeated rhetoric of DO MORE for Pakistan.

The two pronged strategy by US Authorities is being opted keeping in mind the fact that total isolation and all pressures on Pakistan from US may put Pakistan absolutely in lap of China which may not be desirable situation for United States.

Pakistan is likely to be kept under pressure on one side and in the other hand the diplomatic onslaught would also be geared up against Pakistan, not forgetting the Indian influence in Afghanistan and as well as back in State department.

Pakistan will have to carefully walk the tight rope as coming days may witness the Afghan Taliban spring offensive which may include attacks on the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The retaliatory measures may include rise of Afghan based terrorism in Pakistan other than the diplomatic onslaught.

After all both US and India would certainly not be much happier with Pakistan emerging relations with Russia and Russian-Chinese involvement in Afghanistan has already been termed by General John Nicholson as against the US-NATO forces interest in Afghanistan.