By: Shahjahan Khurram
US President Donald J Trump’s recent tweet against Pakistan in which he berates our country for taking aid and ‘giving nothing but lies and deceit’ has stirred a storm. Here are a couple of reasons why Mr Trump’s recent tweet has lived up to its expectation and like the rest, follows suit in being far from reality.
Let us tackle Mr President’s assertions one by one, starting with the ‘Pakistan has given back nothing to the United States but lies and deceit’.
The War On Terror was brought to Pakistan’s doorstep by the impulsive actions of then trigger-happy US President George W. Bush who destroyed Afghanistan in one fell swoop. The result; tens of thousands of refugees flee to Pakistan.
If the cost of housing millions of refugees from the Soviet War was not enough–Pakistan again had its hands full because of a US invasion backed by its coalition partners. The funny or tragic (take your pick) aspect of the whole situation is that Pakistan was the most affected country.
Terrorism, drugs, militants and other menaces flowed from neighbouring Afghanistan into our country and all we could do was watch.
Watch and rack up the bodies, might I add. The bodies of Pakistani civilians and security forces personnel while those responsible for waging the war sat farthest away from the eye of the storm and urged us to ‘Do More’.
Ever since the war was brought to our doorstep by the United States, Pakistan has paid for it dearly. With its life, infrastructure, economy and other aspects. It continues to do so hence it wouldn’t hurt for Mr Trump, other members of the Congress and European powers to time and again acknowledge that fact.
According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, our country has incurred direct and indirect losses amounting to US$123.13 billion that amount to Rs 10,373 billion.
Furthermore in 2016-17 alone, Pakistan lost $2,480 million in tax collection due to terrorism.
In the same year Pakistan incurred a loss of US$559.10 million in Foreign Investment.
In 2016-17, a staggering loss of US$150.92 million was incurred on Physical Infrastructure.
But these are reversible losses, staggering as they might be. Here is a snapshot of the irreversible losses–how much blood Pakistan has given since the War on Terror wreaked havoc across our country.
President Donald J. Trump should realise that no country in the world has paid as dearly as Pakistan when it comes to terrorism. 80,000 people have died as a result of the War on Terror.
Pakistan has certainly helped out the United States of America in its war against Afghanistan. For one, we have been providing key services to the American troops in Afghanistan FREE OF COST. Pakistan has provided the USA/NATO forces with GLOCS (ground lines of communication) services and air corridors which are essential for the sole superpower in tackling insurgents.
Also, US AID is an INVESTMENT that the United States makes in areas of its interests, according to an administrator of USAID who disclosed it to the Congress.
Pakistan also provides the Americans with a vital supply route through which weapons and food items pass through for US/NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan.
Were this supply line to be disrupted, American and NATO troops would find themselves in a bit of a pickle to say the least by having to fend off the hostile Taliban with scarce resources.
President Donald Trump should retract his statement and should acknowledge the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan Army and the people of Pakistan.
Our economy is in shambles, our relations with immediate neighbours have been strained and thousands have lost their lives in a war that was imposed on us.
Pakistan has been left alone in this war–not for the first time but hopefully for the last. If the United States wishes to retain an important ally–the ONLY one that can secure peace in Afghanistan–Trump’s invective and diatribe will have to go. There’s certainly no more place for it in today’s world.