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Winds of change?

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US PRESIDENT Trump’s and Secretary of State Tillerson’s recent diatribes against Pakistan must have taken Islamabad by surprise. Lavishing praise on India for its recent attempts to further entrench itself in Afghanistan, Trump encouraged Delhi to get closer to Kabul.

There is no doubt that the current US administration has openly courted India, looking the other way when India intensified its aggression in occupied Kashmir or when it was caught indulging in subversive activity on Pakistan’s western frontier. While Trump is notorious for his impetuosity regarding Pakistan — and South Asia in general — it seems he is announcing a noticeable change in US foreign policy because of shifting geopolitical imperatives.

In recent times, India has strengthened its ties with the US and Israel, evident from recent visits to both by Prime Minister Modi, where he managed to secure strong economic and security arrangements. A new strategic alliance between these hawkish regimes risks conflating the Middle East’s bloody politics with that of South Asia.

Today Pakistan is far less reliant on US aid than it has been historically, and continues to distance itself diplomatically from America. At the same time, it maintains close ties with China and Turkey. In order to shore........

© Dawn