It seems nothing is going in Pakistan’s favor for quite some time, especially after Trump’s ascend to White House. Trump Administration has been on a constant spree of delivering mighty blow to Pakistan, be it reducing the Aids, or reducing the supply of defenseequipment, but seem the latest step of USA government will be a severe jolt for both the Nations and it may force Pakistan to go for broke against the United States with ties between the two countries reaching a new low.

Infuriated at being called out by President Trump for nurturing terrorist groups, there is a growing fear in Pakistan about Trump Administration’s intentions to declare it as a Terrorist Nation.

To counter and such step in future, Islamabad is said to have devised a ”three-option toughest diplomatic policy,” including an extreme case scenario where it will block access for US and NATO military supplies to land-locked Afghanistan in near future.Actions prior to this will include, according to the Pakistani media, limiting diplomatic relations with US and reducing mutual cooperation on terrorism-related issues and non-cooperation in US strategy for Afghanistan.

Apart from that Pakistan has also warned that it will not buy any more F-16s from the US, and will lean towards China in the future for any Security and Defence apparatus.

On the other hand, USA doesn’t seem to be blink, even it has started a series of actions to devastate all the hopes of Pakistan, if any left. After giving Pakistan a taste of the kind of financial vulnerability it is under by banning operations in the US of Habib Bank, the country’s leading financial institution, for regulatory violations, the Trump administration has indicated it has more weapons up its sleeve. The most important one is to strip Pakistan of the status of a Non-NATO ally, cutting off all aid, imposing travel ban on suspected ISI personnel in the US operating undercover, and finally, formal designation of Pakistan as a terrorist state.

Withdrawal of non-NATO ally status and designating it a terrorist state would limit weapons sales and probably affect billions of dollars in IMF and World Bank loans, along with access to global finance.Pakistan partisans in the US have long argued that the country is ”too big to fail” and applying too much pressure on it will push it into China’s arms, but the Trump administration appears to have reckoned that the country is already firmly in the Chinese camp, and Beijing can do little to stave off a financial meltdown if Washington decides to put the squeeze on a country whose elites have greater affinity for London and New York than for Beijing.

Talk of a western visa ban terrifies Pakistani military and political elites such as General Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif who own prime property and camp out in the west whenever things get too hot at home.Pakistan bravado in threatening to cut off US access to Afghanistan came ahead of a possible meeting of its new Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi with Vice-president Mike Pence in New York on sidelines of the UN General Assembly.President Trump appears to have little time or patience with a country whose proliferation activities are being recalled again following North Korea’s aggravations in the nuclear and ballistic missile sphere.

Even the State Department, whose bureaucrats have long advocated a cautious line on Pakistan fearing its collapse and a “loose nukes” scenario appear to have fallen in line with the White House’s get-tough policy stemming from Islamabad’s continuing perfidy regarding using terrorism as a policy instrument.


Manish Sharma

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