By Tariq ButtDecember 02, 2016Print : National
ISLAMABAD: US President-elect Donald Trump’s spectacular comments about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan and its people during their first-ever telephonic conversation turned out to be music to their ears when compared with the American leader’s previous deep antipathy against the Muslims.
The president-elect’s office put out a statement saying that the two sides “had a productive conversation about how the United States and Pakistan will have a strong working relationship in future.” President-elect Trump also noted that he was looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Sharif. It is also a positive statement couched in careful diplomatic language. It is not as elaborate as the one issued by the premier’s office was.
CNN noted that the Trump team did not answer inquiries from it asking whether the president-elect actually said what the Pakistanis claimed he had.
Pak-US relations have been undergoing a lot of vicissitudes, but in the concluding months of President Obama’s incumbency, they have nosedived markedly. Trump’s remarks coming at this juncture obviously attracted added importance for Pakistan.
During his election campaign, Trump had talked about prohibiting entry of the Muslims in the United States.
Obviously much before the election campaign, on December 7, 2011, Trump tweeted: Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. When our tremendous Navy Seals took out Osama bin Laden, they did.
Then again on July 6, 2012, he tweeted: When will Pakistan apologise to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama bin Laden for 6 years?! Some ‘ally’.
There is not an iota of doubt about the exact quotes attributed to Trump in the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office shortly after the telephonic conversation.
Trump’s striking assertions are characteristic of a very close friend of Pakistan, who, however, is not only considered inclined to Islamabad’s perennial enemy, India, but has also repeatedly expressed his love for New Delhi. He has already inducted two Indian-Americans in the core team of his presidency.
However, one Pakistani-American, Sajid Tarar, is likely to be taken in Trump administration. He was among thirty-six advisers of Trump during the election campaign, and had also delivered a powerful speech at the Republican Party’s convention to dilute the adverse impact of another Pakistani-American Khizar Khan’s passionate address to the Democratic Party’s moot. Khizar Khan’s son had lost his life in Iraq as a soldier of the American army. Tarar recently stated that Trump was not against Pakistan and any such impression was ill-founded. He also said that the new US administration could not ignore the strategic location of Pakistan. He added that he would continue to project Pakistan’s case in the new government. In his campaign rhetoric, Trump had bashed the Muslims ad nauseam apart from battering other minorities including Mexicans etc. His instant comments surprised many Pakistanis, who had mostly been taking his victory with a pinch of salt, and even the American media, which profusely referred to what he had been saying in his campaign. Trump’s lavish praise of the premier, Pakistan and its people apparently reflected the language of an extraordinary frank, straightforward and forthright American leader.
He is a non-traditional politician, who contested the first election to any office and won the presidency. After his election, Trump is yet to hold a formal news conference, which is unusual in the American politics.
He has so far kept the media at bay. Generally, he gives vent to his views through his Twitter account and also talks about his meetings with different leaders in his efforts to select his cabinet and fill up other key posts through the micro-blogging website. A new president has to employ nearly 4,000 people for different posts. In the instant case, Trump did not take to the Twitter to speak about his telephonic talk with the Pakistani prime minister.