A wave of joy Monday swept over a huge territory that includes India, Afghanistan and Pakistan-occupied Balochistan over President Donald Trumps first tweet of the New Year but Pakistanis were calling the US president a “man-child” as Islamabad summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council Wednesday to review the situation.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” President Trump said in his first tweet of 2018, signifying his frustration over Pakistan’s sponsoring of terrorism against Afghanistan.
Elder Afghan statesman, who is a good friend of Balochistan and India, former president Hamid Karzai, in his two tweets welcomed President Trump’s position. “President
@realDonaldTrump tweet on Pakistan’s duplicitous position over the past 15 years is vindication that the war on terror is not in bombing Afghan villages and homes but in the sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan,” Karzai said.
“I welcome today’s clarity in President Trump’s remarks and propose a joint US – regional coalition to pressurize the Pakistan military establishment to bring peace to not just Afghanistan but the entire region.”
Likewise the Afghan ambassador to the USA, the youthful Dr Hamdullah Mohib, tweeted, “President
@realDonaldTrump’s first tweet of 2018. A promising message to Afghans who have suffered at the hands of terrorists based in Pakistan for far too long.”
Pakistan supports its proxies to carry out attacks in Afghanistan is an open secret. On Sunday a Facebook page called “Unofficial: Pakistan Defence Command,linked to Pakistan army and ISI, hailed a terrorist attack that killed 17 Afghans attending a funeral in Jalalabad, eastern Nangahar province. The site also abused Ambassador Mohib for betrayal for backing Trump’s tweet.
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US and author of the “Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding” rejected the arguments of Islamabad that the US was not doing any favor to Pakistan by giving $33 billion as it was fighting the US war.
“For everyone trying to claim that Coalition Support Funds are reimbursement, not assistance: How is ‘I will pay you the costs of keeping your backyard clean so that snakes being reared there don’t bite me and others’ not assistance?” Ambassador Haqqani, who is the ISI’s most hated man and was almost killed by the dreaded agency when he was called to Pakistan after the US raid on bin Laden to get sacked from his job.
Islamabad had often argued that Pakistan itself had lost 70,000 lives against Islamic radicals but that is only half truth as the Pakistan Taliban were the snakes that Islamabad had itself raised against India but later turned against the state. Haqqani re-tweeted a tweet that reads, “US does not depict (convey) the right message to Pak masses. That Pak did not lose 70K lives fighting against Afghan taliban/haqqanis.Pak actually supported them. Pak lost 70K against Pakistan taliban,which were created by Pak in 90s with different names to fight in Kashmir as Pak proxies.”
Both Haqqani and his wife Farahnaz Ispahani, also an intellectual and author of “Purifying Land of Pure: Pakistan’s Religious Minorities” are unwanted persons in Pakistan as they oppose the soldiers meddling in politics. Ispahani re-tweeted a tweet that reads Pakistan renter army got $251,000 per hour for the last 15 years.
Minhaz Merchant, leading Indian intellectual, publisher and author of “The New Clash of Civilizations” welcoming Trump’s tweet, said, “A New Years “gift” to Pak from America. Thoroughly deserved.” But Merchant regretted India’s docility, “President Trump in all but name calls Pak a state sponsor of terrorism. And India, the principal victim of Pak terrorism, still can’t bring itself to designate Pak a terror state.”
India’s softness towards Pakistan has portrayed India’s image on the world stage as a weak elephant. Last week Islamabad thoroughly humiliated wife and mother of alleged Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav and there is much angst among Indian masses but no real action.
Baloch activists were overjoyed. Bhawal Mengal, spokesperson for the World Baloch Organization, welcomed Trump’s statement. “Finally the US recognizes
#Pakistan for what it is, a friend to no one but terrorists, this is not only in the interest of the US but the entire world. We also hope @realDonaldTrump becomes the first world leader to hold Pakistan accountable for its crimes in #Balochistan.
Mengal’s father, former senator Javed Mengal, who lives in exile in London, paid out of pocket for one of the most expensive #FreeBalochistan ads campaign in Balochistan history at the Times Square in New York.
Dr Allah Nazar, chief of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), also welcomed Trump’s statement. “Finally United States realizes that Pakistan is a hypocritic and deceptive state. It is a headache for the world and its existence is a malignancy. I appreciate President Trump’s stand. He is the first president to recognize these thugs to humanity,” Dr Nazar tweeted.
Sher Mohammed Bugti, spokesperson for the Baloch Republican Party thanked President Trump “for realizing the monopoly, hypocrisy and double standards of Pakistan as we were screaming and shouting for a long time.”
Pakistan has killed 35,000 Baloch patriots since a bloody insurgency began in Balochistan in 2005, burying 6,000 victims in mass graves, while another 21,000 are missing according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons.
Islamabad stuck to its guns even if the defense establishment views Trump’s tweet as the most serious “you are with us or against us” threat since President G.W. Bush. According to Omar R. Quraishi, Editor Digital Properties Samaa, Pakistan summoned US Ambassador David Hale to lodge a very strong protest with him regarding the tweet — tomorrow a cabinet meeting will be held on this issue
Pakistan defense minister Khurram dastgir-Khan, who retweeted a tweet in which Trump was described as “man-child.” tweeted, “Pak (Pakistan)as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.”
Americans who could not stand Trump for a single moment but know how deceptive Pakistan is were agreeing with their president for the first time.
Prof C. Christine Fair, who is Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, one of the fiercest critics of President Trump among DC scholars, said, “….Don’t get too excited. Wait for the grown ups to walk this back. This is one of those rare occasions when Trump is correct.”
Likewise human rights defender Jane Eastwood Weisner of Amherst, Massachusetts, who has been very vocal against Trump’s policies, said, “This is the first time I’ve agreed with Trump, but he is right on this one.” She was of the view the president should now back independence for Balochistan and cut off Pakistan’s access to natural resources and the deep seaport at Gwadar.
Weisner counseled friends of Balochistan in US, who are aware of Pakistan’s secret, dirty war there, to ponder “how to get our foot in the White House door to keep pushing an independent Balochistan as the answer to curtailing Pakistan’s support of terrorists.”
Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Monday evening in support of his dad. “Great start. Why give millions to countries who would harbor our enemies?” as he tagged a Fox news story that said Trump was withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan.