ISLAMABAD: China has its own vision, and given its issues with the United States and India, it would never own Pakistan’s problems and Pakistan needs to address its internal issues.
This was stated by former Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi while speaking at a seminar titled “US Foreign Policy and Trump Presidency: A Review and Outlook” organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Studies on Monday.
To strengthen his point of view, Mr Qazi said that since 1979 China has been progressing, initially it emerged as regional power as well as second largest economy, and by 2030 it would become the largest economy of the world, `but the United States and Europe, collectively, would remain the biggest economy of the world.
“Though it (China) is emerging as significant player in the entire region and Indian Ocean, it has not challenged any country. Let’s see how Trump deals with China,” he added.
Former Foreign Minister Inamul Haq said President Trump wished to restore the US supremacy, bring back jobs for the people and protect the economy from the onslaught of globalization, but it was very difficult for him to achieve all these tasks.
“World is moving towards a very dangerous future and problems are increasing for international community,” he said.
Chairman Board of Governors of ISSI, former Ambassador Khalid Mahmood said the appointment of Trump as 45th President of America was like an earthquake and world was still feeling its aftershocks.
“US has decided to construct fence along the Mexico border and deny visa to Muslims of some countries but allowed Israel to extend its territory,” he said, adding the threat of termination of nuclear deal and new sanctions is looming over Iran.
Senior Journalist Zahid Hussain said Trump policies towards South Asia were ambiguous, although he spoke in a very positive way during telephonic talk with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“One thing is clear that India and Pakistan will be dealt separately, though Pakistan doesn’t like it. Trumps position on China will make the things more complicated and pressure will increase on Pakistan to take action against militant groups, who are against India,” he said.
He believed that the tension/war in Afghanistan would further intensify as Afghan Taliban had increased their area of influence. Moreover, Pakistan will further suffer because of cut in the US aid.
Senior Research Fellow and Editor ISSI Dr Talat Farooq said new administrations in the US often failed to change the foreign policy of previous government but Mr Trump had challenged that practice.
“During election campaign Trump remained tilted towards India and kept criticising Pakistan. Now cut in foreign aid programme will affect Pakistan. Moreover, Trump has not given a clear foreign policy regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan,” she said.
She said that recent developments and tension of US with Iran, China and Russia would provide some leverage to Pakistan if it played its cards wisely.
Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2017