Another Trump Effect...Pakistan to Curb Militants?
...[T]he conundrum facing Pakistani officials today[:] they scramble to forestall punitive actions by the Trump administration — and ease pressure from other foreign partners, including China — without provoking turmoil at home, especially among Muslim militants the state has long coddled as proxies against India.Interesting times!
Suddenly confronted with a U.S. president who has declared war against Islamist extremism and has expressed little interest in the long history of political accommodation and security alliances between Washington and Islamabad, officials here are struggling to find a middle ground that may no longer exist.
White House aides suggested last week that ban might be expanded to include Pakistan and other countries with terrorist links. On Saturday, Pakistani media outlets quoted a White House spokesman telling the BBC that there are “no immediate plans” to add Pakistan, Afghanistan or Lebanon, but warning that this could change if the countries stop complying with U.S. requests for information.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria, addressing a news conference Thursday, noted deferentially that “it is every country’s sovereign right to decide its immigration policy.” He said Pakistan looks forward to continuing its “long-standing and cooperative relations” with Washington.
Among the few Pakistanis who express hope for sympathy from the Trump administration are the relatives of Afridi, who has been in prison for six years on charges of abetting Islamist militants. His family says it believes the real reason was his role in locating bin Laden, by conducting a medical survey in the city where the al-Qaeda leader was found and killed by U.S. Navy Seals.
This week, relatives and attorneys for Afridi said the government had refused to renew identity documents for his family members and had placed their names on a list of Pakistanis who are banned from leaving the country. In an interview, his younger brother, Jamil Afridi, 55, said he hoped the Trump administration would come to the doctor’s aid.
“My brother did nothing wrong. He was a true American hero who helped the United States eliminate the world’s most wanted terrorist,” Afridi said. “I congratulate President Trump and I am optimistic about him, because he said he would help free my brother once he was elected to office. He is a man of action who does what he says.”
Trump is seeking to bear executive branch pressure — pressure that no recent POTUS has had the guts to exert.
Meanwhile, many here in America — including those sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States — are fighting Trump every step of the way although the Constitution clearly includes the principle of our nation controlling her sovereign borders.