Jittery Pakistan senators unite to condemn strong US warnings


New Delhi: Several Pakistani senators on Tuesday raised concerns over United States’ South Asia policy and urged Islamabad to follow policies independent of American designs.

A long-standing ally of the United States, Pakistan has recently been at the receiving end of strong warnings from the Donald Trump administration which has asked it to do more in battling home-grown terrorism. A recent visit from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson further plunged relations when he reportedly told Pakistani authorities that the US will act against terror groups in the region with or without their support.

The reaction has been sharp.

While senator Taj Haider said US President Trump “wants to divide people while erecting walls”, another senator – Azam Sawati – said Washington is eyeing Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

According to a report in Dawn, the Pakistani senators accused United States of putting South Asian peace and regional stability at risk. Several of them said the country is trying to prop India up against China and that Pakistan must follow its own path. “We welcome the US if it wants to eliminate terrorism without the support of Pakistan,” said senator Sehar Kamran. “The US should look upon its failures.”

Others like senator Mian Attique attacked the US for leaving using allies and predicted that India too will learn its lesson from getting close with Washington.

While US-Pakistan relations have nosedived in recent months, US-India ties have become closer. Tillerson visited India a day after a frosty welcome in Islamabadand said that the two countries are committed to building closer relations in stand firmly against terrorism.

China – Pakistan’s new-found ally – too has found recent developments in US-India relations a bit alarming. Regular opinions expressed by strategy experts in the state-owned Global Times have accused the US of cosying up to India only to counter Beijing’s rise.