26th August, 2017
The American State department has just announced that Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be visiting Pakistan to apprise us of the details of American policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. She's also scheduled to visit Afghanistan.
This visit is in the background of President Trump's policy speech on Afghanistan in which he threatened Pakistan to stop providing safe havens to what he termed are "terrorists" and failing which Pakistan will face serious consequences. He also invited India to play a major role in Afghanistan, a massive red flag to Pakistan. I will write in more detail on this policy and the factors driving Trump and the USA to adopt, in fact continue this terribly flawed and misguided and ill advised approach.
But on the visit.
Pakistan must send very strong signals to the USA. This visit must be treated very differently then the visits of the previous USA "Viceroys" to Pakistan where they meet everybody and anybody. Our Prime Minister, Army Chief, Foreign Minister etc.
This time Ms. Alice Wells should meet people who are her equivalent in protocol.
She should only be met by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director General of the North American desk in our Foreign affairs ministry. She can apprise our Foreign office of the details of Trump's madness and that's about it.
And then let's send her off to Afghanistan with our good wishes and prayers, hopefully never to return.
This is perfectly in line with diplomatic protocols and norms and should not be deemed offensive.
Khawaja Asif must make himself scarce and may kindly scoot off to China to avoid any embarrassment in not meeting her, if at all he or the PMLN government find this embarrassing.
But on NO ACCOUNT SHOULD THE PM OR THE ARMY CHIEF MEET HER. Under no conditions. This should be NON NEGOTIABLE.
This is a request from all honourable Pakistanis to PM Khaqan Abbassi and Gen. Bajwa.
Gentlemen, let's show some honour, dignity and self respect and most importantly some Spine.
It's time we started to redeem our National self respect and honour in these small ways.