Disagreement over the sale of eight F-16’s to Pakistan still continues in the US, with the US Congress now discussing the possibility of cutting additional subsidies to secure the release of Shakil Afridi. Donald Trump also chimed in unnecessarily on the issue last Friday as he is wont to do, and stated that he would force Pakistan to secure the release. Obviously this comment did not go down too well with the government, and Chaudhry Nisar’s firm response is for once, not out of place. Pakistan is a sovereign country, and another country cannot force it to release one of its own for crimes committed against the state.

Chaudhry Nisar’s strong statement reflects a belief that the Republican candidate will not win the Presidential elections, because in the past, the government rarely ever commented on what made the press rounds in the US. However, the recent hostility on display by the US Congress is probably another reason for the government’s growing uneasiness over the growing anti-Islamic rhetoric in America, and more specifically, the anti-Pakistan dialogue within Congress. The statement might then be for the benefit of the Congress as well, because the Foreign Advisor to the PM has already reminded the Obama Administration of its duty to push the sale through.

With the Interior Minister’s statement, it is all but clear that Pakistan is not willing to budge on this issue; and nor should it, for a Pakistani citizen is to be tried under the laws of this country, and working for another state without the knowledge of one’s home country can be construed as treason. The US Congress can make all the unrealistic demands it wants, but it won’t make a difference. The Congress cannot strong-arm other countries into doing what it wants, and the only effect demands such as this and the controversial 9/11 bill implicating the Saudi government have is that they adversely affect international diplomacy.

With the primaries going firmly in the way of Donald Trump in the Republican corner, the American public is divided. The party’s politicians must be coming to the realisation that they no longer have any choice but to get behind the leading candidate; by at least reflecting a harsher stance towards points of conflict, instead of declaring outright support for him. However, using foreign policy for political mileage can have disastrous consequences for relationships between countries.