08172017Headline:

Why do we need endorsement of Trump by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

It seems we have still not gotten over our colonial mindset. Almost all media and some politician are not happy that President Donald Trump did not mention Pakistan in his speech in Riyadh Summit. Why should President Trump name Pakistan when the USA is now looking towards India as a major ally in South Asia against China? The other objection is that no importance was given to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the Riyadh Summit. This attitude has both international and national dynamics. Internationally the cold shoulder given to us in the Summit could be because we refuse to tow American line in Afghanistan and secondly our emphasis to include Iran in the fight against terrorism must not have gone down well with Saudis. Foreign Office and PML-N government have so far failed to spell out their foreign policy position clearly. They are sending ambiguous signals both inside and outside the country. Domestically our democracy is on weak grounds as opportunist politicians, both in government and opposition, are engaged in a game of thrones. They are willing to go to any limit to win or retain the crown. Civ-mil fault line was exposed when the rejection tweet was broadcast around the world. A divided policy view between important stakeholders of the state does not bode well for the nation. And our economy is dependent on money from Saudi Arabia and IMF. In such situation just having a nuclear bomb does not make a country relevant in the international arena.

I have said consistently that American plan seems to be that European security should be lead by Germany along with France against Russian expansionism. While in the Middle East there should be an alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel to contain the rising influence of Iran. America wants to be relieved from both these regions so that they can focus on Asia pacific to contain the rise of China. The Riyadh Summit was confirmation of this strategy as Saudi Arabia willingly and gladly embraced this role while Germany is still hesitant. The best part is American Military Industrial Complex will reap billions in the process.

I have also taken a consistent position that Pakistan has to improve her relations with our Western neighbors Afghanistan and Iran. We are failing in it because of our wrong foreign policy of last 30 years. We sided with America twice to become a frontline state in two wars and lost our goodwill with Afghanistan. They blame us for all their problems while America and India are considered friends. Now we are tilting more towards Saudi Arabia which could create tensions with Iran as the struggle for dominance gains momentum between them. I am glad we got a cold shoulder in Saudi Arabian Summit as this could help us send a message to Iran about our intentions to keep an equal distance between these two. But Iran has to do some efforts too and cannot allow its land to be used by Indian intelligence to fan separatist sentiments in Balochistan. I have proposed repeatedly that there should be an intelligence & security arrangement with Iran to fight separatism that exists on both sides of the border. We should also renegotiate the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) with Iran and Turkey to link it with CPEC.

I am in favor of a Muslim security alliance to fight terrorism of all stripes and colors but I am totally against a military alliance. The statement of Saudi Foreign Minister that the alliance will have military forces is concerning, PML-N government must clarify this and take the nation into confidence.

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