China And Russia Defend Pakistan Against Trump’s Strategy

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China And Russia Defend Pakistan Against Trump’s Strategy

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Pakistan strategy has rallied allies China and Russia to oppose the new U.S. plan to address the unending war in Afghanistan.

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Beijing and Moscow have come to Pakistan’s defense in light of Trump’s Afghan and Pakistan strategy unveiled on Monday. In a televised address, Trump slammed his country’s former major ally for going too easy on terrorists on its soil and warned that aid and security assistance to Islamabad could be reduced if the nation doesn’t stop providing “safe havens” to militants.

Trump’s harsh remarks about Pakistan, which the U.S. has long accused of harboring terrorists, drew a fiery response from both China and Russia, two emerging allies of Pakistan that have recently begun working with the South Asian nation on resolving the Afghan crisis.

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President Trump, who says he is committed to leading the U.S. to victory in America’s longest war in history, warned that Islamabad had “much to lose” by continuing to offer safe havens to “agents of chaos.” The U.S. has lost more than 2,200 troops in Afghanistan since 2001, and Trump announced that he will deploy about another 4,000 troops to complement his nation’s fewer than 10,000 troop contingent left in the war-torn country.

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Trump’s Pakistan strategy sparks fury in Russia and China

Trump’s Pakistan strategy vowing “a fight to win” has sparked criticism in both China and Russia, whose roles in the South Asian nation have grown substantially since U.S.-Pakistan relations turned sour after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Taliban chief Osama Bin Laden on Pakistani soil in 2011.

Beijing and Moscow engaged Islamabad in December 2016 to hold a series of trilateral talks focused on eliminating terrorism in the region. Nearly 22,000 Pakistani civilians and over 6,800 security force personnel have been killed in terrorist violence since 2003, according to estimations by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP).

Addressing a daily news briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying defended Pakistan after Trump’s speech and praised her country’s “all-weather” friend for making “great sacrifices” and “important contributions” in the fight against terrorism. Mrs. Chunying also called on the international community to “fully recognize” Islamabad’s struggle against terrorism.

Russia echoed a similar sentiment on Tuesday. When speaking to Russia’s “Afghanistan” daily, Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov lambasted Trump’s Pakistan strategy and insisted that Islamabad is “a key regional player to negotiate with.”

“Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilize the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan,” the Russian presidential envoy to Kabul said.

If the U.S. cuts aid to Pakistan, Islamabad would barely notice

U.S. generals have long accused Moscow of destabilizing Afghanistan by arming the Taliban, but the Kremlin has vehemently denied supplying weaponry to the Taliban and has called for a political dialogue on the Afghan crisis involving the Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement. In 2016 and 2017, Russia and China spearheaded Afghan talks involving Pakistan, Kazakhstan and several other regional players. Washington has not taken part in any of the China-Russia-Pakistan peace talks on Afghanistan.

Several senior U.S. officials have warned that Washington may cut financial aid and security assistance to Pakistan if it continues to offer safe havens to terrorist elements. However, critics would argue that if the U.S. reduces aid to Pakistan, they would barely notice. Islamabad’s dependence on American aid has declined in recent years. China, meanwhile, has come in to fill America’s prior role in the South Asian nation and asserted its economic and military might in the region.

Pakistan could cut supply routes to Afghanistan

America’s shrinking role in Pakistan and the China’s simultaneously growing role in the nuclear-armed South Asian country offer Islamabad more room to maneuver amid Trump’s Pakistan strategy. The White House is said to be considering more radical measures to strong-arm Pakistan into fighting terrorism, including removing Islamabad’s status as a non-NATO ally and even declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism.

Any extreme measures against Pakistan would not only push the nation further toward China and Russia but also trigger potential countermeasures. One such countermeasure Islamabad could take is closing supply routes to Afghanistan, suggests Arif Rafiq, a nonresident fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, according to The New York Times. This would not be an unprecedented move by the Pakistani government, as Islamabad cut off all NATO supplies to Afghanistan after U.S.-led NATO forces killed 28 Pakistani soldiers in a November 2011 airstrike.

Trump’s strategy to drive Pakistan closer to Russia and China

As Trump’s Pakistan strategy eclipses U.S.-Pakistan relations, Islamabad could seek deeper ties with Moscow and Beijing, according to two unnamed senior Pakistan officials cited by The Express Tribute ahead of the U.S. President’s announcement. Two officials familiar with Pakistan’s foreign policy plans said the Pakistani government would have “no option” but to further enhance its cooperation with both China and Russia.

The Pak-China diplomatic and military friendship has been steady for the past few decades, with their economic partnership reaching new heights in light of China’s announcements regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in 2014. Russia, for its part, has gravitated towards Islamabad only recently.

The two former Cold War-era rivals managed to put their differences behind them and step up their diplomatic, military and economic cooperation in recent years. In 2014, Moscow lifted the decades-old embargo on arms sales to Pakistan, and later that year, the two nations signed an agreement to expand their military ties, striking an energy deal worth $1.7 billion. In 2016, the Pak-Russian defense partnership reached new highs with the Pakistani Army and Russian Army carrying out unprecedented joint military exercises under the name of “Friendship 2016.”

Later this week, a Pakistani delegation is expected to attend Russia’s Army 2017 exhibition, as announced by Pakistani Ambassador to Russia Qazi Khalilullah last week. At an event dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, Khalilullah also vowed that Islamabad and Moscow will increase their partnership in areas of mutual interest, including in the energy and defense sectors.

Pakistan rattled by Trump’s request for India’s help

Trump’s request for India’s help on Afghanistan has drawn criticism in Pakistan, India’s long-time enemy. Analysts in Islamabad warned that Trump’s appeals to their South Asian neighbor to “help us more,” especially with economic assistance, could result in even more tensions between Pakistan on one side and India and Afghanistan on the other.

By asking for India’s assistance in the Afghan crisis, President Trump has “confirmed the worst fears of Pakistan’s generals: that America is in cahoots with India against Pakistan,” according to Mosharraf Zaidi, a foreign-policy analyst in Pakistan who was cited by The New York Times.

The Pakistani government has long accused New Delhi of supporting and financing a hostile political regime in Afghanistan and providing financial support for militants to launch terrorist attacks against Pakistan from Afghan soil. Critics in India, meanwhile, allege that Islamabad uses militants such as the Taliban as a means to challenge New Delhi’s growing regional influence. Pakistan has long denied the allegations that it shelters militants on its territory, insisting that it takes action against all terrorist groups.

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Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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26 COMMENTS

  1. Pakistan help set up relations between US and China. At that time they were allies, later on, USA turned on China and soon began creating problems in this region. We don’t need such an evil ally.

  2. Pak could expand relations with Canada, EU, China, Russia, Turkey and Iran. Trump and the us are so pathetic and unreliable. Screw them.

  3. The evil hegemonic
    China which is entrapping all smaller nations into a debt trap to achieve its
    hegemonic ambitions has over reached especially with CPEC 60 Billion is not going to materialise as many of the projects useful for Pak has been shelved. Evil China have to get used to the reversal of
    your fortune! China is going down fast! anyone associated with China will also
    go down even if its Russia! Pakistan wont survive the turmoil in one piece. The world has changed since China occupied Tibet
    & Xinjiang! No one has forgotten the Tiananmen tragedy. Global isolation of
    China will make the Chinese regime lose its popularity and in matter of time
    revolution against CCP will free the repressed China from CCP. Afghanistan will rival Pak in South Asia just like Bangladesh.

  4. A bankrupt empire that borrows from China (nearly 2 trillion) with a cluster-F president that may not last the year can hardly lead a War campaign in any respect. Trump and all his boot lickers i.e. Modi (the cow lynching butcher/little terrorist) will sink right along in the Trump titanic!

    China is the preeminent economic global superpower, fast rising into a formidable military superpower along with Russia, which, is a resource rich military superpower. One has to be a cow urine drinker not to understand that the future belongs to China/Russia and not the has been USA

  5. Indian cockroaches are rattled by Russia supporting Pakistan. ha ha Get use to it, soon or later you will be bow down to China silly man Kumar

  6. Wasn’t Pakistan friend of both China and USA when USA and China did not have even diplomatic relations ? You Porkis can sleep in bed with anyone paying the dollars. Pathological liars.

  7. But Your new husband USA won’t be able to wipe out terrorists from Afghanistan because is not a civilised country & it provides shelter to enemies of Pakistan to enemies of Russia and soon Russia will bomb that whore !

  8. Ha ha ha who are you kidding buddy.All USA and other Western countries have to do is freeze all the Assets belonging to the thousand families who have looted Pakistan for the last 70 years and see what happen.
    You will find Islamabad completely abondoned.
    The Chinese billionaire have looted China which is now neck deep under debt.
    They are about to reach a point of no return soon.
    Democracy always wins in the end.

  9. Without Pakistan US is sitting duck in Afghanistan and if Pakistan becomes enemy US is in for hell.

    Also, I remember clearly US media and leaders praising Taliban/Al-Qaeda back when they needed them in beating soviet union into a pulp. As long as it suits US interests it’s legal.

  10. Why should Russia trust you Indians? You already made headlines with US and India close relations, MODI has Trumps ballz down his throat. Choose a side and stick to it you double-faced Wh0r3.

  11. I love Russia and China (the real good guys in this world). AND USA is the worst nation in existence, the biggest warmongers that plague this Earth. Do you all remember 2011 NATO incident? We never received an appropriate apology. We need to get things straight, we need new friends.

  12. Russia defending Pakistan ?? You must be kidding. Kabulov is not the voice of Russia by any logic. Has Russian Foreign Minister defended Pakistan like his Chinese counterpart ?? Mr Kabulov like officialas can be found even in USA who would support Pakistan and even North Korea. Mr kabulov and few more like him ( author included) speaking for Pakistan as part of a strategy. Every country has such people. Even Pakistan has such people fully supported by Pak army who talk good about India. Such people are used as decoy to keep enemy country guessing.

  13. If those Americans believe Pakistan is not helping them to counter insurgency in Afghanistan then Pakistan should block the NATO supply & tell Americans to find a new partner in this region who can really help Americans with all this stuff.

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