Pompeo’s pomposity
S M Hali


The relationship between the US and Pakistan has been strained but in the near past, with Pakistan’s efforts in getting the Afghan Taliban to have direct negotiations with the US bearing fruition, one would expect the US to respect Pakistan. The showdown with India concluding in Pakistan’s favour in the last week of February, once again saw the US State Department leaning towards New Delhi.

While the rest of the civilized world was trying to pour oil over troubled waters to keep the two nuclear weapons equipped states India and Pakistan from engaging in a conflict which could destroy the whole world, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fired broadsides against Islamabad and blamed Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. The 14 February attack on a military convoy at Pulwama is yet to be investigated fully. Compelling evidence is appearing that it was a false flag operation to enable Narendra Modi to blame Pakistan and indulge in adventurism to boost his sagging chances at the forthcoming Indian general elections. New Delhi attempted a shoddy surgical strike, which failed but resulted in Pakistan shooting down two Indian Air Force fighter aircraft and capturing one pilot alive. Pakistan returned the Indian pilot unconditionally, which the world appreciated but Mile Pompeo burst into a tirade, repeating former US President George Bush’s mantra of “Do More!” Pompeo screamed: “We need Pakistan to do more. They have to stop harbouring terrorists. We saw what happened with India. The conflict that rose there as a result of terrorists that departed from Pakistan…. They need to stop harbouring terrorists”.

One would have expected more maturity from a US Secretary of State, who ought to have taken cognizance of the Indian atrocities against the hapless Kashmiris, but Pompeo mindlessly toed the Indian line on an unproven claim on the Pulwama attack, and also whitewashed Indian crimes against the Kashmiri people and marginalized the home-grown liberation movement against the illegal occupation.

One would have expected more maturity from a US Secretary of State, who ought to have taken cognizance of the Indian atrocities against the hapless Kashmiris

The US hostility against Pakistan is not just about terrorism. It can be seen in the fact that Pompeo raised the spectra of the proliferation of our nuclear program. Pakistan has a foolproof command and control structure in place that guards against such occurrences but once again the US is not going to let the facts get in the way of its agenda. The nuclear deterrence may be one thing that has prevented an all-out invasion from India and there is nothing it would like more than to be the only nuclear power in the region. While there are genuine concerns about nuclear safety in all countries, and denuclearization should be a primary goal, what the US wants is not a nuclear-free world but one in which the US and its allies have nuclear monopoly. The US has tried to take credit for diffusing the possibility of war between Pakistan and India, but Pompeo’s comments make clear that the superpower has – for the moment – picked its side.

Pompeo declared proliferation of Pakistan’s nuclear program a threat to the American security. This baseless allegation exposes the real designs behind building India as the policeman of the region. While giving an interview to an American radio broadcaster, the US secretary of state had reportedly stated that there were five big issues that threatened the American security and one of them was proliferation of Pakistan’s nuclear program.

Mr. Pompeo had claimed that no other administration, but the current US administration had taken some action against Pakistan on the issue. Pompeo’s pomposity was displayed last year; he previously issued a similar statement, saying that the bailout of the International Monetary Fund for Pakistan must not be used to help repay Chinese loans that Islamabad had acquired during the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Moreover, he said, the US had refused to pay the expenditures incurred by Pakistan for and on its behalf it in the war on terror. While defining its regional policy some time ago, the US had singled out Pakistan and China and Mr. Pompeo had called to block aid to Chinese allies in August last year.

Pompeo has every right to follow US goals of: “protecting the American people and preserving our way of life, promoting our prosperity, preserving peace through strength, and advancing American influence in the world.” This should not be at a cost to accusing Pakistan baselessly. Dutch journalist Bette Dam’s new book Searching for an Enemy. In her book, Dam said the one-eyed former Afghan Taliban leader Omar lived near a US base in Afghanistan for years, not in Pakistan. A clear case of the pot calling the kettle black. ye uzr-e-imtih?n-e-jazb-e-dil kais? nikal aay?. maiń ilz?m us ko det? th? qus?r apn? nikal aay?. What is this test for gauging the affiliations of the heart? I used to accuse him, but the culpability turned out to be mine.