Trump’s new Afghanistan pol­icy up­sets Pak­istan

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

ISLAMABAD - A wave of an­tiAmer­i­can anger has swept Pak­istan this past week, trig­gered both by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s threat to pun­ish the coun­try for har­bor­ing in­sur­gents and by his in­vi­ta­tion to In­dia, Pak­istan’s long­time ri­val, to be­come more in­volved in Afghanistan’s fu­ture.

Tribal and re­li­gious lead­ers have held protests at bor­der cross­ings, and ban­ners urg­ing “Say no to Amer­ica!” have ap­peared across the cap­i­tal. Of­fi­cials have can­celed trips to Wash­ing­ton and asked a State Depart­ment of­fi­cial to post­pone her planned visit here this week. Across the coun­try’s frac­tious po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, lead­ers have raised a col­lec­tive fist at Trump.

In a stern speech Aug. 21, the U.S. pres­i­dent laid out a new mil­i­ta­rized pol­icy for the re­gion, say­ing he would send more Amer­i­can troops to Afghanistan and in­sist­ing that Pak­istan must “do more” to rein in Is­lamist mil­i­tants or face pos­si­ble sanc­tions, such as cutting aid or re­vok­ing its sta­tus as a ma­jor non-NATO ally.

Afghan of­fi­cials wel­comed Trump’s mes­sage, but Pak­ista­nis ac­cused him of “bul­ly­ing” their coun­try de­spite its his­tory of co­op­er­at­ing with the United States in for­eign con­flicts. They said he had be­trayed them by reach­ing out to In­dia, which Pak­istan views as a per­sis­tent threat to its ex­is­tence.

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