The 21 gun salute by the US mily I am told is only reserved in honour of the British Army Chief. (I may be wrong) . The Bajwa salute is unprecedented . Some major events have taken place during the visit. Three important issues were discussed, end or war Afghanistan, ending the confrontation with Iran and finding an option to end the Trade war with China. Five powerful countries jointly agree that Pakistan is the pivotal country that can play the ldg role in all three. These countries are The US, Russia, China, Turkey and KSA. The strategic aims of the US, China , Russia and Pakistan coincide on the three issues above. All want an end to war in Afghanistan, no war in Iran and an end to the US - China trade War. The message was clear to IK and Bajwa. Help us. The US by declaring BLA as a terrorist organisation is making efforts to win Pakistan over. They have promised to release the blocked coalition funds of nearly 5 billion dollars for our help. China wants Pakistan to help. US has asked Pakistan to talk to Iran to tone down it’s Nuclear programme for ten years If it agrees and starts that , the US will withdraw its forces fresh depl from the Gulf. In fact some say it was MBS of KSA who suggested to Trump to get Pakistan on board for help in all three cases. Another serious dev is the Indian press and their MFA calling Trump a liar. Need not to go much in this. Trump and Washington have been massively slighted. Their honeymoon seems to be over, specially if Pakistan can deliver. Trump will have his revenge!
A strange thought is taking hold in the US after the IK jhalsa in Washington. Never has Washington seen such a spectacle where over 30,000 people from all over the country descended to hear a foreigner,IK , on their own cost. Some friends tell me that no US senator, politician or leader can gather that many in Washington. This was not lost to Trump, Polesi and others. Trump has said that he wants these people to join The Republicans . With the Pakistani Muslim voters it will make his party more acceptable . Polesi wants this vote bank for the Democrats! They are amazed that this man IK can gather such a large crowd in a foreign country. The US has told IK that for them he is the only ldr for Pakistan. What he does with the opposition is his affair. I believe PPP and Bilawal have got the message hence his change of tone that he supports IK in improving relations with The US, reflects it.
This trip went ahead without any input from the State Dept , it was a WH and a Pentagon show. As some say Trump and the ‘deep state ‘ are on one page now . He does not care much about Pompei. In that meeting , IK’s body language said it all. What endeared him to all his critics was his openness to talk of even the uncomfortable things like OBL etc. His reply that if India opts for denuclearisation, Pakistan will follow suit has been widely appreciated. This in effect means that China and The US will avoid being drawn into a future nuclear confrontation , in case of any Pak India war. Both the Chief and the DGI conducted themselves extremely well I am told. The DGI was never in the news. The gift of a cricket bat and the photo of Eisenhower watching a cricket match suggests to what lengths they went to impress IK! This visit has washed away a lot of misgivings on both sides. Yes the US wants us to do things for it, but the tone and manner of it is of equals . We need now deeper understanding if the US demands, trust is one. Can Pakistan give any guarantee to Iran ? Very little. The US first wants a solution on Afghanistan before it moves to Iran and The trade war. What Pakistan does in the coming months has great ramifications for our future . Sensible and mature handling is required. Regards,.....Saeed Malik.