Tuesday, 9 January 2018

With the latest collapse in American and Pakistani relations, are we witnessing America’s collapsing prestige?

Pakistan's Asymmetrical Response To Trump Is A Clever Way To Flip The Tables On Afghanistan

Pakistan’s announcement that it will seek the expulsion of over 1,5 million Afghan refugees in the next 30 days is being tacitly justified by Trump’s tweet and channels his zero-tolerance stance towards immigration from “terrorist”-prone states, but it also represents the employment of reverse-“Weapons of Mass Migration” in pushing Kabul closer towards the edge of collapse and consequently filling the Taliban’s rank of supporters.
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
Trump is going to soon regret what he tweeted about Pakistan on New Year’s Day in accusing it of “giving safe haven to terrorists”, since Islamabad is poised to hit Washington with an asymmetrical counterpunch that it surely won’t forget.
The Pakistani government just announced that over 1.5 million Afghan refugees must leave the country within the next 30 days, a plan that it’s been working on for a while but which just received a fresh impetus and internationally-acceptable justification with Trump’s tweet.
Had it not been for the American President’s zero-tolerance towards immigration from what his administration labels as “terrorist”-prone countries, which crucially includes Afghanistan for substantial and not political reasons (as the latter relates to Iran’s inclusion and Saudi Arabia’s exclusion), then Pakistan would have risked drawing heavy pressure from the State Department on exaggerated claims that it’s “violating the human rights” of the refugees.
Trump, however, said that Pakistan was “giving safe haven to terrorists”, and since the US formally regards Afghan refugees as being too much of a potential security hazard to allow into its own country, it’s forced to accept Pakistan’s expulsion of 1,5 million of them on the implicit basis that they also constitute a serious terrorist threat to the state such as the one that the President just tweeted about.
This isn’t at all what Trump meant when he issued his tweet, nor the reaction that he was expecting, but by cleverly exploiting the President’s own policies at home and the suggestion he was making towards Pakistan abroad, Islamabad found a creative way to asymmetrically strike back at Washington.
Not only could Pakistan soon rid itself of actual terrorist sleeper cells and societal malcontents who have long overstayed their welcome in the neighboring country, it will also be catalyzing a series of cascading crises for Kabul through the employment of what can be described as reverse-“Weapons of Mass Migration”.
To briefly explain, Ivy League researcher Kelly M. Greenhill introduced the concept of “Weapons of Mass Migration” in 2010 to describe the ways through which large-scale population movements — whether “naturally occurring”, engineered, or exploited — impact on their origin, transit, and destination societies, theorizing that this phenomenon can have a strategic use in some instances.
Of relevance, the influx of millions of Afghan “Weapons of Mass Migration” into Pakistan since 1979 had the effect of destabilizing the host country’s border communities and eventually contributing to the spree of terrorist attacks that have since claimed over 60,000 lives in the past 15 years, but now the large-scale and rapid return of these “weapons” to their country of origin will also inevitably destabilize Afghanistan.
The landlocked and war-torn country is utterly unable to accommodate for what amounts to a roughly 3% increase in its total population in the next 30 days, especially seeing as how the Kabul government exerts little influence beyond the capital and has no sway in the approximate half of the country that’s under the control of the Taliban.
The US-backed Afghan government is already failing its citizens as it is and that’s why so many of them have either joined the Taliban or sympathize with it in the first place, so the odds of the returned refugees successfully reintegrating into their homeland’s socio-economic fabric and becoming “model citizens” is close to nil, meaning that it should be expected that the vast majority of these 1,5 million people will more than likely come to side with the Taliban than Kabul and consequently make the country much more difficult for the US to control.

In essence, what Pakistan has done is throw Trump’s tweet right back at him by using it as the internationally plausible pretext for initiating this long-planned move that was originally predicated on solely apolitical security-centric domestic interests but has now pertinently come to embody geostrategic contours by powerfully turning the tables against the US in Afghanistan through the employment of reverse-“Weapons of Mass Migration”.

Pakistan May Block Supply Path US Troops Use to Reach Afghanistan
U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache four miles of the US military base in Bagram, Afghanistan (File)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Pakistani authorities are considering the option of blocking supplies of US troops deployed in Afghanistan through its territory amid the diplomatic tensions between Islamabad and Washington, media reported Monday.
On January 1, US President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of providing "safe haven to the terrorists" despite multibillion US assistance to Pakistan. On Thursday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the United States was suspending the delivery of military equipment and security aid to Pakistan. According to the spokeswoman, such a measure was a response to the local authorities’ insufficient measures in the fight against terrorist groups.
Pakistani The Nation media outlet reported, citing senior officials from the nation's foreign ministry, that Islamabad was discussing the move, however the decision has not been made yet.
The newspaper added that the move could be used in response to the diplomatic steps taken by the United States.
The United States has been in Afghanistan for almost 17 years following the September 11, 2001 attacks in Washington and New York. US troops in Afghanistan are being supplied with food and military equipment by the routes from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Chaos Strikes As 1.4 Million Afghans Have 30 Days To Leave Pakistan

5 January, 2018

On Wednesday, the Pakistani government ordered 1.4 million Afghan refugees to leave the country in 30 days.According to DAWN, the oldest English-language newspaper in Pakistan, this is the sixth extension given to refugees, which the last expired on December 31.

The announcement was made by the National Security Committee and approved by the federal cabinet, which comes after President Trump unleashed a series of tweets accusing Pakistan of harboring terrorist.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump said on New Year’s day.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Further, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Pakistan of playing “a double game for years”and said President Trump will withhold $225 million in aid to the country.
The Pakistani cabinet viewed the American statements as distasteful and detrimental to the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the United States. The official statement from the PM Office media wing said,
“Pakistan has rendered huge sacrifices, both in terms of loss of precious human lives and substantial damage to the economy. Achievements made by Pakistan in curbing the menace of terrorism have been acknowledged throughout the world.”
Before Trump tweeted, the Pakistani government was considering a proposal for granting a one-year extension in the Proof of Registration (POR) Cards for the refugees under a tripartite agreement with Afghanistan and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
It appears the announcement’s decision was linked to President Trump and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley threats to Pakistan, which now requires 1.4 million Afghan refugees, who lost their legal status on December 31, 2017, to migrate back to Afghanistan by end of month, where the infestation of Taliban forces thrive. On top of America’s failed war in Afghanistan, President Trump has ramped up aerial bombings in the country by threefold leading to more destabilization.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan called President Trump “ignorant” and “ungrateful” while responding to his tweets.

From the start I had opposed Pak becoming part of US-led so-called "War on Terror". Now, after suffering 70k dead, over $100 bn loss to economy, when we had nothing to do with 9/11, constant " do more" US taunts & after nation has been humiliated by Trump, GoP saying the same.

Khan blames the CIA for the creation of Jihadi groups and a decade of failed wars in the region.

Lesson to be learnt by us is never to be used by others for short term paltry financial benefits ever again. Our society became radicalised and polarised as we helped CIA create jihadi groups; then, a decade later, we tried to eliminate them as terrorists on US orders. https://twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI/status/948432069797048320 

“And now Pakistan being blamed for US failures in Afghanistan by an ignorant and ungrateful Donald Trump,” Khan tweeted.

“Finally, Pakistan suffers ultimate insult: being made scapegoat for US failure in Afghanistan,” Khan added.

Finally Pak suffers ultimate insult: being made scapegoat for US failure in Afghanistan. A couple of thousand or so Haqqanis allegedly in Pak are supposed to be cause of why the most well-equipped mly force in history, 150k NATO troops + over 200k Afghan army could not succeed? https://twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI/status/948434623545135104 

Bottomline: With the latest collapse in American and Pakistani relations, are we witnessing America’s collapsing prestige?


ALERT! Death Of The Dollar: Pakistan Preemptively Ditches The U.S. Dollar For The Chinese Yuan

Pakistan Ditches Dollar In Trade With China In Retaliation For Trump Twitter Meltdown

Less than a day after President Trump slammed Pakistan on Twitter for failure to combat terrorism, stating, "It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others," and after it was revealed that the US will withhold $255 million in aid, Pakistan's central bank announced it will be replacing the dollar with the yuan for bilateral trade and investment with China. 

"SBP has already put in place the required regulatory framework which facilitates use of CNY in trade and investment transactions," the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a press release late Tuesday, ensuring that imports, exports and financing transactions can be denominated in the Chinese currency.

"The SBP, in the capacity of the policy maker of financial and currency markets, has taken comprehensive policy related measures to ensure that imports, exports and financing transactions can be denominated in yuan," Dawn news, Pakistan's most widely read English-language daily, announced while quoting the SBP press release.

Image source: WION News

As we reported in December, Pakistan has been contemplating the move since last month's formal launch of the Long Term Plan for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), signed by the two sides on November 21. The CPEC is a flagship project of China's Belt and Road initiative - the 3,000 km, over $50 billion corridor which stretches from Kashgar in western China to Gwadar port in Pakistan on the Arabian sea.

At that time the agreement was signed Pakistan's Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that while Pakistani currency would be used within the country,

 China desired that bilateral trade should take place in yuan instead of dollars, in yet another push to de-dollarize what China considers its sphere of influence. "We are examining the use of yuan instead of the US dollar for trade between the two countries," Iqbal said in what was the earliest tip-off of this week's bombshell news, and added that the use of yuan was not against the interest of Pakistan. Rather, it would "benefit" Pakistan.

But the timing couldn't be more interesting, with the White House's rhetoric on Pakistan putting the longtime and now increasingly strained defense alliance between the US and central Asian country center stage. Less than two weeks after China and Pakistan launched their CPEC initiative, Trump said in a New Year's Day tweet, "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"

In response to the tweet the chairman of Pakistan's Senate Defense Committee fired back, calling Trump the "mercurial leader of a declining superpower" while accusing him of merely "raving and ranting." Trump has broken ranks with prior administrations going back to the Cold War - who have taken great care to maintain a positive though uneasy status quo with the nuclear power - and in brazen tone called out Pakistani authorities for looking the other way on terrorism,especially regarding their long acknowledged support to the Taliban and toleration of jihadist groups along the pashtun tribal lands Af-Pak border border like the Haqqani network. Ironically, however, Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and the CIA were once in the same trenches when it came to supporting mujahideen fighters the region throughout the 1980's.

Pakistan has long been forced to rely on an external patron as the ultimate guarantor of its security vis-à-vis India and in recognition of the international legitimacy of its disputed borders (foremost being the Durand Line), bouncing back and forth between either China or the United States. But clearly the latest tensions as well as US plan to cut foreign aid, precipitated in the US administration's eyes by Pakistan being among an expansive list of US aid recipients that voted to support the December 22 UN resolution condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, have not only created a vacuum in terms of waning US influence in the region, but have allowed China to cement itself as both economic and political guarantor in the region. 

Notably, on the same day Trump accused Pakistan of giving "safe haven to the terrorists" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang immediately came to Islamabad's defense, saying the country "made great efforts and sacrifices for combating terrorism" and urged the international community to "fully recognize this."

Why is US Cutting Aid to Pakistan?

President Trump began the year with a tweet denouncing Pakistan, and followed up by announcing a new reduction of U.S. aid. Junaid Ahmad, director of the Center for Global Dialogue, explains the significance of Trump's decision

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