Pakistan’s isolation is responsible for its recent rants at UNGA
Pakistan continues to live in its own world as was reflected in its PM’s statement that there is no role for India in Afghanistan. Many in Pakistan are now putting all their eggs in China’s basket. The Xiamen BRICS declaration, which listed Pakistan-based terror organisations for the first time, should be a warning to Pakistan than an isolated Pakistan would be of little use to even China.Updated: Sep 26, 2017 14:18 IST
Like every year, Pakistan has once again railed against India at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) . Raking up Kashmir again, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urged the UN to appoint a special envoy to the state to investigate into the alleged atrocities. He also called for the need to send an inquiry commission to the state in order to secure the punishment of those “responsible of human rights violation.” India’s response was quick and potent, which underlined that “Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan,’ with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.
The world has stopped listening to Pakistani rants on Kashmir but Islamabad has nothing else to talk about at the global forum. These are tough times for Pakistan as it is feeling the heat from the rapidly evolving regional realities. The US’ is tightening the screws on Islamabad. Its new Afghanistan policy has a laser-like focus on Pakistan to make sure it abides by its commitments.
This theme also found mention in Trump’s speech at the UNGA where he suggested that “it is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al-Qaida, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and others that slaughter innocent people.” He added, “We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology.” Pakistan, as the epicentre of global terrorism, could not have been oblivious to the underlying message.
The US has already banned in the US operations of Habib Bank, Pakistan’s leading financial institution, for regulatory violations, signalling its resolve that it intends to move forward with the operationalising of its policy.
A number of other tough measures are being considered which may include revoking Pakistan’s status of a non-NATO ally, cutting off aid, and even declaring Pakistan as a terrorist State. Not surprisingly, there is panic in Pakistan, which is suggesting that it is ready to respond in kind by gradually limiting diplomatic relations with the US, reducing mutual cooperation on terrorism-related issues and refusing cooperation with the US on Afghanistan.
Even as US-Pakistan relations are passing through one of their most turbulent phases, India has emerged as a critical part of Donald Trump’s South Asia policy as it doubles down on the Indo-US strategic partnership. Buoyed by Washington’s desire to see a more engaged India in the economic development of Afghanistan, India has decided to take up 116 “high impact community developmental projects” in 31 provinces of Afghanistan. India and Afghanistan have also agreed to “strengthen security cooperation” with New Delhi agreeing “to extend further assistance for the Afghan national defence and security forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering.”
Pakistan continues to live in its own world as was reflected in its PM’s statement that there is no role for India in Afghanistan. Many in Pakistan are now putting all their eggs in China’s basket. The Xiamen BRICS declaration, which listed Pakistan-based terror organisations for the first time, should be a warning to Pakistan than an isolated Pakistan would be of little use to even China.
As regional trends unfold, Pakistan’s position is becoming difficult to sustain.
Not surprisingly, ranting at the UN is the only thing left for Pakistani policy-makers.
Harsh Pant is professor of international relations at King’s College, London
The views expressed are personal
First Published: Sep 26, 2017 13:32 IST