On Friday, Donald Trump’s pro-Israel national security adviser Lt. Gen. McMaster landed in Islamabad on his first trip to the region. After Pakistan, he is scheduled to visit Afghanistan and India. He called on Pakistan’s finance minister Sen. Ishaq Dar in Islamabad and relayed Trump administration’s wish to work with Pakistan to pursue the common objectives of peace and security and economic well-being of the people.
Dar said Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighborhood, and the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was keen to work with friends and partners for peace and stability in the region and beyond.
Coincidentally, on Friday US boycotted Moscow Peace Conference to resolve the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan since November 2001. Washington branded it a unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region.
The conference was attended by diplomats from Russia, China, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. NATO nations and the United Nations skipped the conference.
McMaster’s visit came one day after the US air force tested its Mother of all Bombs (MOAB) in Afghanistan’s Nangahar province near the Pak-Afghan border to protect US-Israel-India terrorists operating in the country from pro-Pakistan Taliban. The test killed 36 civilians.
Since the America’s anti-Russia coup in Ukraine, Russia, a staunch ally of India since 1950s, has now joined India’s regional adversaries, China and Pakistan to form a powerful realignment to challenge the hegemonic power of the US in the world.
Trump is also bullying North Korea, another ally of Pakistan, Iran and China – not because it poses any security threat to United States – but because Israel considers N. Korea an enemy state for its support for the oppressed Palestinians.
Atia Ali Kazmi, a senior research and policy analyst in Islamabad penned an article for the US-based Israel lobby mouthpiece The Hill (February 13, 2017).
“Both Trump and Sharif desire to reduce the security cost of hosting refugees and defeating terrorism. In pursuit of these common interests, Pakistan can play a vital role. In return, Pakistan would expect, at minimum, an end to the eight years of hostility under President Obama. Washington could reciprocate by nuancing its policy and eschewing the word ‘Islamic’. Islam is an anathema to terrorism and it is a religion of peace. As one of the most populous Islamic states, Pakistan wants to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Kazmi said.