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Trump's 'lies and deceit' tweet: It's turning into a married couple's relationship where both remain inseparable despite fights
The early morning tweet on New Year's Day accusing Pakistan of 'lies and deceit' from US President Donald Trump on has not only pushed Pakistan in to defensive mode but has also made the Indian media more aggressive.

After the United Nations denouncing Pakistan for being a safe haven for terror Trump straight away labelled Pakistan as a liar and deceiver. The balance aid of $255 million that Pakistan was due to receive in August, 2016 has apparently now been blocked.

Although Pakistan's foreign minister Khawaja Asif presented a bold face citing that all funding received had been accounted for and soon the lies of the US would be exposed.

Senator and former Pakistani ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman tweeted that the money provided by America could neither be considered aid nor assistance as it was compensation towards expenses incurred on joint action at border areas.

But, has the United States finally distanced itself from Pakistan? Has Pakistan also turned against the US and sided with China? Is there a new alignment in the Middle East? Will Pakistan join in the league with Iran-China-Russia deserting Saudi Arabia?

No doubt sections of the Indian media and some experts are hoping something like this to happen. But I don't expect such things to happen as the geo politics of the Middle East region is very complex and particularly Indo-Pak relations which are always a flash point. But before that, let's recall America's history of blocking or stopping financial aid to Pakistan.

In 1965, post the Indo-Pak war, the United States stopped military aid to Pakistan for next 15 years. In 1979, American President Jimmy Carter stopped all kinds of aid over complaints of Pakistan's secret nuclear program. However, in the early eighties, US military aid resumed to Pakistan for countering Soviet influence in Afghanistan. In 1990, aid was again cut because the then American President Bush couldn't certify that Pakistan wasn't involved in a nuclear program. In 1993, USAID mission was closed for eight years. In 1998 following a nuclear test by Pakistan, further aid was cut and more sanctions imposed on Pakistan.

However following 9/11, US significantly increased financial aid to Pakistan. In 2004, it gave one billion USD debt relief aid. In 2009, United States Congress passed $7.5 billion worth of aid over five years (2010-2014) to Pakistan. And now this blocking or say, temporarily withholding aid is being discussed.

The point is that American aid to Pakistan and blocking/stopping of aid is context specific. Pakistan is America's need for cleaning the mess in Afghanistan. Although the US will keep warning Pakistan, but still continue to provide it aid. Just because it's the only country in the world which allows its land, water and air space to the US for hunting terrorists.

Can Pakistan afford to reject American aid? I don't think so. Many argue that China will come to Pakistan's rescue. But the reality is that China never gives anything for free. Its aid is high interest bearing and comes with prerequisites. After Sri Lanka had to give its Hambantota Port to China on a 99-year lease just for repaying the 8 billion USD loan, Pakistani authorities started rethinking on seeking Chinese investment. In fact, Pakistan refused a $14 billion loan from China for two of its hydroelectricity projects because of its high rate of interest rate and conditions of lease.

Although the CPEC agreement has not been made public, but many Pakistani experts have started questioning, how Pakistan will repay the $50 billion USD investment? Will China forcibly take some portion or the entire CPEC on a 99-year lease? As a precautionary measure, Pakistan refused China's proposal for using Chinese currency. That means Pakistan has started realising China's ambition of making Pakistan its colony. In the meanwhile, China has stopped funding the CPEC citing corruption as the reason, but many think that its China's ploy to make Pakistan fall in its trap.

The bottom line is that Pakistan knows that siding with America is the best option than to seek Chinese help. That's why Pakistan will show volte-face in the public but will do something to please the American bosses.

Pakistani government immediately banned Hafiz Saeed's JUD and one more organisation to collect donations. It also gave instruction to provincial governments to take over the charitable organisations of Hafiz Saeed. They may again jail Saeed and some other terrorists. It will do anything to compel America to release it financial aid.

That's why the Indian media need not be so pleased with this latest tweet from the US President. This game has been going on since 1965.

What should India do? I think India needs to have its own independent policy. It has to cancel Pakistan's MFN status. India should pass a resolution in the Parliament declaring Pakistan a terrorist country. It should severe all diplomatic ties with Pakistan.

At the same time it must flex its muscle to counter other smaller countries that are supporting Pakistani terror. The best example is Palestine. India needs to take action against Palestine for sending it's envoy to attend Hafiz Saeed's rally. It needs to forge a strong partnership with Israel.

I'm sure that the government of the day must be rethinking its diplomatic strategy. But the one thing I want to say is that this love hate relationship between the United States and Pakistan is like the one between married couples, they remain inseparable despite fighting with one another.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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