As Washington tries to reach out to its allies in the wake of the assassination of a key Iranian commander in Iraq, a US State Department Spokesperson for South and Central Asian Affairs said on Saturday that President Donald Trump has “authorised the resumption” of IMET for Pakistan.
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) January 3, 2020
The announcement appears to be an attempt by the Trump Administration’s to mollify its ally in South Asia, as days before the military action on Iran, President Trump had made a categorical statement that Islamabad would get “no more” aid. Trump previously said that Pakistan had “given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
US Secretary Mike Pompeo also reached out to Pakistan’s Chief of Staff, General Qamar Bawja on 3 January as part of his outreach to his counterparts in Europe, Russia and in South Asia to brief on the killing of Iranian Commander of the Al-Quds Force Qasem Soleimani.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 3, 2020
While Pompeo reached out to his counterparts in other countries, he preferred to talk to the military leadership in Pakistan rather than government leaders.
Pakistan is a key player in the West Asia, and has warm relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. President Trump reportedly asked Imran Khan to broker peace between Iran and Saudi Arabia in September in the aftermath of the bombing of Saudi Aramco’s oil facility. Riyadh had accused Tehran of involvement in the bombing.
Pompeo reaching out to the military leadership in the country, however, did not go well with Pakistan’s politicians. Former Senator Farhatullah Babar termed it as a “national embarrassment”
— Farhatullah Babar (@FarhatullahB) January 3, 2020