Mattis Visits Islamabad

Before meeting the PM, Khaqan Abbasi and COAS, Qamar Bajwa, US Defence Secretary, James Mattis said enough about why he was visiting Pakistan. The purposes and objectives of his visit to Islamabad were already evident. Everyone knew that it would not be a meaningful meeting but just an attempt to coerce Pakistan for the failures of the US in Afghanistan. The earlier news reports suggested that he wanted an answer to the categorical question, “Are you with us or not?” the answer to which is not difficult to guess.

However, talking to the reporters after meeting Abbasi, Mattis said that he was in Islamabad to find and identify common grounds which both countries could act on. The focus of the meeting was bilateral relations, the regional situation, Peaceful Afghanistan and eradication of terrorism.

However, at best the US approach towards can be seen as a carrot and stick approach. A day before, CIA Director Mike Pompeo issued severe warnings to Pakistan if the government failed to destroy safe havens of militants in the country, but Mattis hopes for a common ground of operating against terror outfits.

American frustration for its failure in Afghanistan is understandable. However, what beyond comprehension are its attempts to channel out all its anger on Pakistan. In fact, successive American governments were not on the same page regarding countering terrorism in Afghanistan. Till this day, Taliban have resisted every policy and tactic designed to combat insurgency on Afghan soil quite successfully.

The superiority arrogance bars America to admit the fact that they have lost the battle in Afghanistan. It is better to allow other countries and regional governments to find some sustainable solution to the Afghan conundrum.

Mere allegations against Pakistan cannot guarantee American forces a win against Taliban in Afghanistan. While Pakistan has shown its commitment to the US against terrorist outfits, it is about time that America stops this practice of making Pakistan scapegoat for its failures in Afghanistan.

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