N.P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: In yet another great development of political import in our own region South Asia, the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to begin his visit to the United States of America at the formal invitation of President Donald Trump.
PM Khan will be in the USA beginning third week of July this month.
This unexpected political growth may have caused gigantic anxiety associated with discomfort to the Indian establishment more so to PM Modi, however, observers in Nepal were confident that the US shall be compelled time permitting to honor Pakistan to what was its due since long. Better late than never, the US recalled its longtime ally.
PM Modi had begun considering himself as the King of South Asia.
The present gesture of President Donald Trump towards Pakistan also tells that the country no longer remains a, as President Trump used to say in his earlier Tweets, as “Liar and deceit” but instead it is now a good old Cold War days ally and that it was the country which provided shelter to millions of Afghan refugees when the then USSR entered into Afghanistan and the exodus began instantly. It was the time of military ruler President Zia-ul Haq in Pakistan.
As an ally of the US, Pakistan took care of the driven refugees but in lieu enjoyed US largesse for several years. The refugees are still in in the camps in and around Peshawar, Pakistan, say media sources.
However, things deteriorated for Pakistan as India, the former ally of the USSR changed the camp and entered into the US orbit.
It was this Indian distinct-shift to the US trajectory which clearly distanced Pakistan with the US.
PM Modi was seen ignored by most of the world leaders including Vladimir Putin and even Crown Prince MBS in Osaka more so while group photograph was being clicked and at the dinner time.
Unfortunately, the former US President(s) including Donald Trump listened to the Indian structured stories made against Pakistan and acted against this country as per the wayward suggestions of the new found all-which India was.
Beginning Clinton to Obama, India was accorded a treatment that it did not deserve.
The US listened to India’s distorted views also because India had to be made the “boss” of the US designed Indo-Pacific Strategy for this part of the world. This has encouraged the regional bully.
What India means to the smaller neighbors, ask Nepal which is all set to be made the fresh Indian target. Mr. Jay Shankar may have big terrifying plans in store for Nepal.
South Asian population wonder as to how and why an ace champion of democracy of the sort of the USA listen to the lynching expert India controlled by the fundamentalist PM Modi of the Gujrati Godhara massacre ?
Thus the US is advised to go through its own annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report which alleges that “mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018, amid rumors that victims had traded or killed cows for beef, and then come to a conclusion as to why the US has been siding with India?
Nepal though is a majority Hindu country but religious tolerance is the remarkable beauty of Nepal. Even the Christians, for example K. B Rokaya for example, now have begun demanding that
Nepal’s Hindu Status be restored. Mr. Rokaya even prefers the restoration of the overthrown Hindu monarch.
After being re-elected PM Modi’s India has begun pouncing upon the minorities, specially the Muslims and dalits, who are being made the prime target.
Muslims are forced to chant Jay Shri Ram-name of a Hindu God. Those who deny are tortured like how the Kashmiris are being tried with pellet guns since several decades and decades.
The US must seek clarifications from India prior to declaring it to be the boss of Indo-Pacific strategy for this part of the region. It would be unacceptable.
South Asian nations desire a credible political deterrent as against the high handedness of India.
Mind it, closer US-Pakistan ties is what guarantees the nations of South Asia of a stable and secured region which is at the moment a distinct tilt that favors the Indian hegemon. The Kashmir issue continues to be a flash point in India dominated South Asia.
The US must listen to the silent cry of the smaller neighbors of India or why should these nations reciprocate as stated earlier?
All that SA needs is a political deterrent that matches to the Indian strength. That’s it.
However, the US did not apprehend in advance that India is a country which ditched the real successor of the then USSR-the Russian Federation and thus the same India could leave the US in the deep blue ocean if such a treachery benefitted the Indian nation. Just wait for some time then watch how India ditches the US.
A security treaty had tied the USSR and India for more than two decades in the Cold war era, to recall.
However, better late than never the US has come to its senses observing the sincerity of the Pakistani people and the sitting Prime Minister Imran Khan as regards the settlement of the overly stretched Afghanistan conflict.
Over these weeks and months, Pakistan definitely has exhibited its sincerity in sorting out the Afghani problems by trying several tracks of diplomatic efforts in sorting out or better say in easing the US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan.
(Pak PM Khan is very popular in Kathmandu for his strong determination to clean the national politics made dirty by his predecessors. Modi too was popular but his ccoercive politics which insulted Nepal many a times has developed some sort of allergy for him at the moment. After the imposition of the economic blockade of 2015, he is taken as the most hated political man in the neighborhood. However, people to people level contacts remain the same).
The US of late more so President Trump appears to have clearly understood and realized that India can never bring about an acceptable solution to the Afghani issue but instead could escalate the conflict and dump it all on the head of Pakistan and in effect this is what India has been doing.
President Asraf Ghani perhaps knew about India and thus he landed in Islamabad last week.
That the US has already developed a soft corner for Pakistan got reflected when Mike Pompeo during his fresh trip to India was grilled by a Modified TV anchor “purposely” who was expecting some bad words from the US Secretary against Pakistan. Mike Pompeo, however skipped the pointed question in a most diplomatic manner and then flew to Afghanistan to meet President Ghani.
While being in India, Pompeo was in full knowledge that Pakistan had hosted a seminar and initiated the “Lahore Process” for a viable solution to the Afghan problems.
Mind it that this Lahore process was well attended by prominent Afghanistan nationals/leaders which too added plus points to the honest credentials of Prime Minister Imran Khan-the former ace Cricketer.
PM Khan is expected to be the US guest beginning July 21 and is expected to have extended one-on-one talks with the US President Donald Trump the next day.
Encouraged by the Pakistani support for US forces pull out from Afghanistan, the US in the meantime offered a precious gift to its former ally by declaring the separatist group Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a terrorist organization, months after the BLA attacked a five-star hotel in the port city of Gwadar.
China is developing Gwadar port city in Pakistan under CPEC project.
Sources claim that Pakistan in 2006 had banned the BLA grouping and have been urging the US to do the same.
“The BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan,” the US State Department said this Tuesday.
The State department in its freshly released executive orders made it a crime for anyone in the US to assist the BLA militants and freezing any US assets they may have.
The separatist crowd has carried out several guerrilla attacks in the past year, including a suicide attack in August, 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in Baluchistan, a November, 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and a May, 2019 attack against a luxury hotel in Gwadar, it added.
Strategists in Nepal hope that the US’s changed positive stance vis-à-vis Pakistan does hint that the US may restore its ties with Pakistan and elevate it to a level from where it had begun to take a downward slide for a fault that was not of Pakistan’s making.
If the US does so then the South Asian nations shall have reasons to celebrate in having a credible political deterrence in South Asia as against the regional Goliath-which India is. If any doubt then the US is advised to secretly ask as to what India means to the smaller nations that unfortunately border with the declared destabilizer.
Pakistan says that it has to receive large sum of money from the US which remains blocked under this or that pretexts.
PM Khan is likely to talk on this issue, it is learnt from Pak media outlets.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to travel to the United States in the third week of July on a maiden visit where he would have first face-to-face sitting with President Donald Trump, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The trip, originally planned in June, was postponed because of the PM’s prior domestic engagements, i.e. federal budget 2019.
This would be the first high-level engagement between the two countries under the Trump administration’s tenure, and comes at a time when talks between the US and Afghan Taliban are thought to have entered decisive phase, writes the The Express Tribune dated June 28, 2019.
In the meantime, several drug lords and political men engaged in money laundering business have been nabbed by the incumbent government. Tax evaders are running helter-skelter.
The intimate US-Pak ties is very significant in that the US shall have a reliable partner who in effect unconditionally enjoys “cordial” ties with the neighboring countries ( excluding India) which has in addition an expanded reach from South Asia to the Central Asia, the Gulf countries including Iran. Obviously China is its longtime partner.
Needless to say, the US’s close ties with Pakistan shall time permitting allow the US an opportunity for an honorable exit from Afghanistan and also provide the South Asian nations the much needed political deterrent to South Asian nations who have been until now forced to live with a coercive regime that is not compatible with a nation that believes in coercive diplomacy and more often than not twists the arms of its smaller neighbors more so of Nepal. In addition, the neighboring country has turned into a terror machine and has been creating ugly scenes each day inside its own land.
The US is thus advised not to leave the South Asian nations to the mercy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) card holders like the Indian foreign minister S. Jay Shankar and Nationals security advisor Ajit Doval.
However, Prime Minister Imran Khan must not forget Vladimir Putin who had all the smiley face for all along the SCO meet held in Bishkek for Imran Khan and that was unmistakably for the Pakistani nation. A close proximity with the Russian Federation shall mean much for Pakistan. Compact and composite relations with Putin by all means will make Pakistan an important nation in the global community speaking in strategic terms.
An announcement made in Islamabad this week says that Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, will visit Pakistan later this year.
This means that security across the country has significantly improved and so the arrival of the British Royals has been finalized. To recall, the British airliner too has resumed its flights to Pakistan.
“There is now a global recognition that our once worsening security conditions have seen vast improvement in recent years”, confirmed a foreign office official in Islamabad.
Hope South Asia is a stable and secure place region after Imran Khan’s US visit. President Trump must listen to the silent appeal of the South Asian nations and its tortured population. That’s all.