Imran Khan’s unending illusions

  • “We look to the US to put out flames in the world”

At the Houston rally jointly addressed by US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the latter had accused Pakistan of terrorist attacks, holding it responsible even for 9/11 despite the fact that none of the 19 hijackers belonged to Pakistan. Mr Modi had threatened that the time had come for a decisive battle against terrorism “and all those who promote terrorism.” President Trump had silently listened to Mr Modi’s defence of the revocation of Article 370 maintaining that it strengthened those promoting terrorism. President Trump had responded that the USA and India were committed to “combatting radical Islamic terrorism”.

On Monday, during a joint press conference between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Trump, the lattershot down questions regarding Indian atrocities in Kashmir, showing his partiality for India. Mr Khan needs to realise that President Trump cannot be considered an honest broker, and it would be folly to accept his new offer for mediation. What is more, Kashmir is not a piece of cake. The Kashmir issue has to be decided through a referendum organised by the UN by the Kashmiris themselves.

Mr Khan lacks a sense of history when he says that the USA, being the most powerful country, has a responsibility to resolve disputes. Since after WWII, the US has created more disputes than it has resolved, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the overthrow of Iran’s Mossadegh government through CIA and that of the elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua though mercenary Contras. It aided and abetted South American military regimes who killed thousands of dissenters during the “Dirty War”. The USA continues to patronise Israel that has let loose state terrorism on Palestinians. Pakistan is still suffering from the after effects of the US proxy war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The USA is now unjustly targeting Iran.

According to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, President Trump had ‘mandated’ Mr Khan to act as a mediator in the Iran crisis. This can only create misunderstandings between Pakistan and Iran which, unlike the Gulf Arabs, condemns Indian excesses against the Kashmiris. Pakistan does not have the clout to ask any the Gulf Arabs or the USA to accede to Iran’s demands if it finds these to be genuine.