‘WHY DID NAWAZ SHARIF EVEN GO TO RIYADH?’: PAKISTAN HUMILIATED AT US-ARAB-ISLAMIC SUMMIT

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Mortified – that is the word used by The Nation, a major Pakistani newspaper, on how Pakistani delegation, led by its prime minister Nawaz Sharif, looked like at the just concluded US-Arab-Islamic Summit in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.

According to the story in The News, ‘something has gone terribly wrong as the Summit didn’t mention Pakistan’s role against global terrorism and its prime minister Nawaz Sharif was not given chance to put forth the country’s point of view’ whereas Pakistan has lost over 70,000 civilians and 6000 security forces personnel in terrorism related violence.

The article that defines Pakistan as a ‘frontline state’ and the ‘sole Muslim nuclear power’ rakes up the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and says such a treatment becomes more pinching when you find that US President Donald Trump mentioned India in the list of terror victims but ignored Pakistan that “is trying to convince the world of New Delhi’s role in fanning terror through spy-terrorist Kalbhushan Jadhav’s case at International Court of Justice”.

The article summed up the mood at the summit, “The popular sentiment among the majority of Pakistani media delegation was that of a total humiliation”.

Pakistan’s treatment at the summit has started making headlines in the country with opposition parties targeting Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has taken on Nawaz Sharif for letting Pakistan and other Muslim communities down with his ineffective presence at the global forum. We can feel the heat of the royal snub that Pakistan was given in Khan’s words, “The most important thing is that he [Trump] did not even mention Pakistan, the country that fought America’s war and lost 70,000 people”.

A release by Pakistan’s Foreign Office informs us that Nawaz Sharif did interact with “Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, President Donald Trump and other leaders from the Arab and Islamic countries”, but if we go by the words of Imran Khan, Sharif wasn’t even invited to speak, “Nawaz Sharif had practiced 6 hours for his speech at the Riyadh Summit but he wasn’t even invited to speak. Why did Nawaz Sharif even go to Riyadh?”, a Samaa TV report said.

And how can media and politicians in Pakistan forget about their Kashmir rant, something that defines the agenda of the country, its overzealous media and narrow-vision politicians, back home or at global, multi-lateral forums.

So, being comfortably unmindful of Pakistan sponsored terror in Jammu & Kashmir and in India, that has taken over 45,000 lives in the state of Jammu & Kashmir alone, The Nation’s article writes that “terming India a victim of terrorism was a deeply painful insult to innocent, unarmed Kashmiris who are fighting for their just cause of liberating their land from the oppressive India and facing worst kind of state terrorism at the hands of its armed forces”.

Imran Khan, while blaming Sharif for disgracing Pakistan at the summit, said that “Nawaz Sharif should have talked about the plight of Kashmiris and Palestinians” and went on to criticise Donald Trump for praising India and for ignoring (Pakistan labelled) “the atrocities being committed by India against the Kashmiris”.

While the geopolitical reality is, every successive US government, including the present one of Donald Trump, sees Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and squarely blames Pakistan for promoting terror in India. 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 state-sponsored terrorism. And in April, Gen HR McMaster, the US National Security Advisor, who was in Pakistan, bluntly told Pakistan to stop using terror as state policy.

©SantoshChaubey

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