Pakistan's National Assembly unanimously condemns Trump's new Afghanistan policy
Pakistan has clearly been unhappy about President Donald Trump's new Afghanistan strategy, particularly his words- calling out Islamabad for harboring terrorists. Pakistan's National Assembly has passed a unanimous resolution opposing Trump's statements, calling them "hostile and threatening." Among other things, the resolution termed the US administration's decision to provide an enhanced role for India as detrimental to regional stability. Here's more on the resolution.
Declaring his intent to prolong US military engagement in Afghanistan, Trump slammed Pakistan for providing terrorist safe havens. "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting... that must change immediately." He called on India to "help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development."
The resolution denied NATO commander General John Nicholson's claims on the existence of Taliban Shuras in Quetta and Peshawar. Pakistani legislators saw India's enhanced role under the new policy as "a complete failure to understand ground realities and evolving challenges." Highlighting that Pakistan had lost around 70,000 lives and suffered a $123 billion in fighting terrorism, the resolution slammed Trump for disregarding its sacrifices.
In wake of Trump's "hostile and threatening remarks," the Assembly urged the government to consider suspending cooperation with the US, especially on the matter of ground and air lines of communication passing through Pakistan. It also called for postponing diplomatic visits between Washington and Islamabad.
The Senate, the upper house of the Pakistani Parliament, separately adopted a statement outlining the nation's response to Trump's new Afghanistan strategy. It urged the foreign minister to highlight Pakistan's contributions in the war on terror and called for Islamabad to have its own South Asia policy. The statement also warned against the negative consequences of military escalation in Afghanistan to Europe and Pakistan.
The US is increasingly echoing India's views on Pakistan. Therefore, the Pakistani Parliament's response to Trump's new Afghanistan policy is not surprising. In an ideal scenario for India, Pakistan may start cracking down on homegrown terror, driven by US insistence. However, this seems unlikely given the domestic power dynamics in Pakistan and the indispensability of the country to the US, especially in handling Afghanistan.