NAWAZ SHARIF AND DONALD TRUMP TO MEET NEXT WEEK? AND IF THEY DO, WILL IT HELP PAKISTAN?

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

According to a Dawn News report, Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif may meet US President Donald Trump next week during the US, Arab and Islamist Summit in Saudi Arabia. The news report that quotes sources from the Pak Foreign Office, said the related modalities are still being worked out. If it goes ahead, as being planned, this will be the first face-to-face meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Donald Trump after the telephone conversation between the two leaders on November 30, 2016.

The US-Arab-Islamic is scheduled to be held on May 20-21 in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. The Islamic alliance was formed to fight terrorism and is led by Saudi Arabia. It will be Donald Trump’s first major interaction with major Muslim leaders of the world.

Donald Trump is known to have tough stand on Pakistan even if Pakistan chose to highlight the November 30 telephonic conversation between the two leaders, an act that was widely mocked with global media describing it with terms like “Trumpiest Phone Call” because of Pakistan’s eagerness to play it up.

In Past, Trump has described Pakistan with terms like ‘Pakistan is not our friend’ and “when it will apologize for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden” and apart the November 30 phone call, he hasn’t endorsed or publicly contradicted his past views about Pakistan.

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. When our tremendous Navy SEALS took out Osama bin Laden, they did… (cont) http://deck.ly/~pOSbX
1:46 AM – 7 Dec 2011
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/144148110799675392?lang=en

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
“Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what (cont) http://tl.gd/fcuq8f
1:41 AM – 18 Jan 2012
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/159367254935470080?lang=en

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some “ally.”
1:52 AM – 6 Jul 2012
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/220976065231863809?lang=en

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
Pakistani intelligence had full knowledge that Bin Laden was living in Abbottabad. They were sheltering him.
12:20 AM – 10 Jul 2013
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/354673952389464064?lang=en

So when Pakistan released the readout of Sharif-Trump phone conversation, reflecting a bonhomie between the two leaders with lines like,

“President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office”,

..no one except Pakistan took it seriously.

In fact, the stand of the Trump administration on Pakistan says something else, away from the readout rhetoric that describes Pakistan as “fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people”, all in Trump’s words, as Pakistan claims.

On May 11, in its ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’ report, the US Government blamed Pakistan for deteriorating India-Pakistan ties and batted for India’s growing intolerance over Pakistan’s stat-sponsored terrorism.

In April, Gen HR McMaster, the US National Security Advisor, who was in Pakistan, bluntly told Pakistan to stop using terror as state policy.

Also, while campaigning, Donald Trump had promised to get Pakistan act to free Dr. Shakil Afridi who was instrumental in finding Bin Laden, an act for which he has been languishing in jail. As the sixth anniversary of Bin Laden’s killing just passed on May 2 and as Trump is now in the White House, he may, in fact, put pressure on Sharif to free Afridi. And he can intervene if he wants to. In a tweet in March 2016, Trump had claimed that he “alone could solve the problem” after a terror attack targeting Christian women and children left 67 dead in Pakistan.

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
@realDonaldTrump
Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve
2:07 AM – 28 Mar 2016
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/714189569793646597

©SantoshChaubey

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