ISLAMABAD (TIP): Republican Donald Trump’s election as US President has come as cold comfort for Pakistan where many believe that he would further precipitate American tilt towards India. His anti-Muslim rhetoric and business ties to India are signs that his administration could favour New Delhi, analysts said.
“America will not abandon Pakistan, but definitely, Trump will be a tougher president than Hillary Clinton for Pakistan. I think India will have a better and smoother interaction with the US under Trump than Pakistan,” said analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.
Despite working as strategic partners in the south Asian region for decades, relations between Islamabad and Washington have never been free of suspicion. The US accusations that Pakistan harbours terrorists and the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansur on Pakistani soil further increased this mistrust.
In an interview in April this year, Trump had termed Pakistan a “vital problem” for the United States “because they have a thing called nuclear weapons”, adding, “They have to get a better hold of the situation.” Trump also reportedly hinted at seeking help from India and other nations to address the “problem” of nuclear-armed Pakistan.
What Trump had said about Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic programme, is already the policy of US administration. President Obama had pressed Pakistan to limit its nuclear and strategic missile programme. With Trump getting into the Oval Office, this pressure is expected to increase.
Grace Shelton, US consul general in Karachi, told a Pakistani channel that Trump’s election did not signal a drastic policy change. “Our foreign policy is based on national interest and does not change when the government changes,” Shelton told Geo News.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wasted no time in congratulating Trump. “Your election is indeed the triumph of the American people and their enduring faith in the ideals of democracy, freedom, human rights and free enterprise,” he said in a statement. (PTI)