US goal of engagement | Editorial

Sustained progress on reconciliation and counterterrorism: that’s what the US expects of Pakistan, according to Mike Pompeo and Alice Wells. A recent briefing by the two State Department officials before a Congressional subcommittee sums up President Trump’s agenda for Pakistan i.e. his government’s ultimate goal of engaging with Pakistan. The US stance is unmistakably clearly: that Pakistan’s ‘sustained effort’ for reconciliation in Afghanistan and its ‘irreversible action’ on countering terrorism allegedly emanating from its soil would be vital to stability and economic prosperity in the region. In other words, Pakistan would be to blame in case of the regional instability turning worse.
Decoded into simple words, the US’s incomprehensible diplomatic jargon means that Pakistan is required to keep on exercising its supposed influence on the Taliban till the time they submit to the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan, and drop their precondition related to a complete withdrawal of US troops before a ceasefire. That’s indeed a tall order, given the little maneuvering space available with Pakistan due to the Taliban’s growing territorial control in Afghanistan and their awareness of Trump’s desperation to get rid of the Afghanistan quagmire as soon as possible. To add to that, any let-up on the part of Pakistan on countering terrorist outfits within its borders would be tantamount to complicity in ‘endangering world peace’. And that’s kind of an incriminating charge-sheet Pakistan is tasked with avoiding.
The US tilt towards India and Afghanistan in the regional task cut out for Pakistan is pretty evident. And the use of words like ‘sustained’ and ‘irreversible’ in the US demands clearly reflects its suspicion that the actions being taken by Pakistan in the context of reconciliation and counterterrorism cannot just be halted but reversed as well. This is what explains the nature of the relationship between the two longtime allies – a typical marriage of convenience.
Source : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1993992/6-us-goal-engagement/?fbclid=IwAR2iPBVIHS9Z8VrpXLIIZYiamnL6rzf9NRFRCRJ6r4x7S-SQEVZP77YX7hI

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