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Trump tweet

January 20, 2018

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PRESIDENT Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of deceit and lies. What specific instance, if any, he had in his mind, he did not elaborate. But, there is one example that calls for attention.

On Sept 2, 1947, Pakistan’s first finance minister Ghulam Mohammad called on the US Charge d’Affaires, Charles Lewis Jr. This was the first official contact between Pakistan and the US since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Basically, this was unusual, because the foreign office was bypassed. Moreover, cabinet ministers of a host country generally do not pay official visits to foreign envoys.

What transpired in the discussions was summed up in the envoy’s message of the same date to Secretary of State, George Marshall, saying: “As regards the second point; that of financial assistance to meet the operating expenses of the government, the minister said the burden of protecting India had been placed on Pakistan, at least the burden of protecting the north-western frontier which is the only possible source of danger.

“He said Russia was watching India. Pakistan as well as other parts of Islam had little in common with the Russian ideology. He had no idea what move, if any, Russia would make in the direction of India. But that he and his colleagues felt that Pakistan must be ready defensively to do what it could to bar the path should Russia decide to move south.”

Remember that the guy was talking about ‘protecting India’, while trainloads of Muslims, dead and alive, were pouring into Pakistan from India. What was it if not a crude attempt at deceit?

S.G. Jilanee

Karachi

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THE US administration had put Pakistan on notice that if it did not ‘do more’, unilateral action might follow in areas of divergence (self-conceited targets). The US Centcom commander is, however, of the view that such an action was nowhere in the offing.

The US attitude reflects it is wedded to the classical theory of conflict management. This discarded theory postulates that conflict is caused by a few bête noire. When they are eliminated, it is hunky dory with peace.

But, modern theory of conflict management says ‘conflict cannot be eliminated. The minimal point of conflict is its optimal point’. If Eisenhower had not started post-World-War II Marshall Plan, Europe would have braced up for yet another war.

Nazi war criminals were tried at Nuremberg for ‘crimes against peace and humanity’. But, Dresden fire-bombing, A-bombing of Japan, and Soviet brutality in Germany remained untried.

A war may stem from circumstances beyond human control, uncertainty and accident, impersonal forces impinging on nation-states (John Locke), human perversity (Thomas Hobbes), society or environmental factors.

The US should stop threatening countries with unilateral action. Never forget, pursuing war as an instrument of state policy violates international law and humanity.

Asad Malick

Rawalpindi

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2018