Trump’s attempt at “humiliating and penalising” Pakistan won’t work: ex-US envoy Olson

The Trump administration’s attempt at “humiliating and penalising” Pakistan for allegedly failing to take decisive action against militant groups hostile to the US is unlikely to work, a former American ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has argued, warning that Islamabad has greater leverage over Washington than is usually perceived.

“Pakistan, like most countries, reacts very badly to public attempts to force its hand. It is likely to respond by showing how it can truly undercut our position in Afghanistan,” wrote Olson, who also served as the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in an op-ed published in the The New York Times on Tuesday.

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In his article titled ‘How Not to Engage With Pakistan’, the former envoy assessed the impact of the US decision to withhold security assistance to Pakistan.

“For the past 16 years our military efforts in landlocked Afghanistan have been dependent on transit through and especially overflight of Pakistani territory,” he said. “Absent an implausible similar arrangement with Iran, other options are not good.”

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