WASHINGTON: The US media continued to debate President Trump’s new strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia as an opinion article in the New York Times cautioned that alienating Pakistan could make the situation in Afghanistan far worse.
President Trump in his speech made an oft-repeated remarks against Pakistan of providing safe havens to some militant groups, allegations Pakistan has already rejected.
Commenting on threats that US could severe aid to Pakistan, the NYT report said that American Policy-makers have repeatedly considered and rejected that possibility before. “Pakistan also has a powerful ally in China, which is likely to step into any breach in American assistance. Alienating Pakistan could make the situation in Afghanistan far worse,” the NYT article said.
A separate NYT opinion article observed that President Trump’s invitation to India “to help us more with Afghanistan” would certain to bring an adverse reaction from Pakistan and would enrage its military.
Top US officials at a briefing on Wednesday at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) repeated several times that US considers Pakistan an “important partner” that shares many common interests and enemies.
The officials spoke on the condition that they would not be identified, according to a report by the USIP posted on its website. They said that US recognises the sacrifices Pakistan has made in the fight against terrorism. “The officials said they aim for a ‘mature constructive relationship’ with Pakistan,” the USIP report said.