New York – “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!,” was the first tweet of 2018 by the US President Donald J. Trump.
The tweet spurred to cause a gloom on the current political arena in Pakistan as the US president-elect, Trump had told Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a telephone call in 2016: “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long.”
According to a readout from Pakistan’s Press Information Bureau on that 2016 phone call, Trump said, “Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.”
Although Trump’s transition team then did not react to this read-out, there were major eyebrows raising happening as it was a major turnaround for the president-elect.
Earlier, in January 2012, Trump had blasted Pakistan in a tweet saying, “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect — and much worse. #TimeToGetTough.
The sine curve of tweets, which is alleged to have been funded by an Asian, has now become a cause for pain and anguish for Islamabad’s politico-military camps and to some extend in Washington, DC think tank circles. In the similar vein, the readers’ thoughts are sure to evolve depending on the side of the water they stand on.
American Trumpism Order
With the change of guard in the US, the new President Trump has already shown there is a new agenda on his mind and the White House is moving to a New World Order, without defining the path. There is a marked change in the political equations between two nations at a rapid pace as the political leaderships and thus political directions, are changing in both the nations.
Not really hailing from a political party (although he won the election on the Republican Party ticket), Trump bulldozed his way ahead through business acumen qualities, TV celebrity status and stoking nationalist plus divisive sentiments.
The tweet of 2018 is a Déjà vu of 2012 tweet and no one should be surprised, least of all Islamabad on this outburst. President Trump seems to be trying to streamline his policies based on his campaign promises, to make sure the US tax dollars are spent to get tangible results.
Both in the US and Pakistan, the common man, buried in debt, is beyond the tweets and more worried about putting food on the table for the family and making a decent living without the threat of terror, hanging on the head.
Pakistan is given the ultimatum by President Trump, can be a blessing in disguise for the people of Pakistan but for now it is difficult to say if its the lamb or a wolf in sheep’s clothings. Guess time will tell.
An Interesting Year of Déjà vu 2018.