Pakistan PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump held bilateral talks on the sidelines of UNGA in New York. During the conversation, Trump taking a jibe at Pakistan, said that Imran Khan 'lives in a very friendly neighbourhood' when speaking over Pakistan's regional conflicts with neighbours.
The comment by Donald Trump came as a sarcastic interruption when Imran Khan was talking about Pakistan's neighbours- India, Afghanistan and Iran, that broke a laughter in the room.
Imran Khan said, "I look forward, Mr. President, to talk to you about, obviously, Afghanistan, which is a big issue for us Pakistanis, because stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan. We also want to talk about all three neighbors: Afghanistan, India, Kashmir. And, of course, Iran, it’s just — we will discuss the situation there because all — these all three neighbors of Pakistan. And I —"
Interrupt the Pakistan Prime Minister, Donald Trump said, "He lives in a very friendly neighborhood."
#WATCH New York: United States President Donald Trump says, "He lives in a very friendly neighbourhood" when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan states that he looks forward to talk to Trump about Afghanistan, India and Iran. pic.twitter.com/e3UiZfxN1r— ANI (@ANI) September 23, 2019
Pakistan's foreign policy remains critical with neighbours, Islamabad has found an ally in China, who has largely invested in a cash-strapped Pakistan. However, the world has condemned Pakistan silence on Beijing's treatment of Uighur Muslims. However, Imran Khan, in an interview said that his foreign policy was backed by the Pakistan Army, just reaffirming the indulgence of the military in politics.
He said, "Every policy of my government, which was peace with our neighbors, has been backed by the Pakistan army."
Pakistan's persistent backing to designated terror organisations and terrorists including 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Pulwama attack perpetrator Masood Azhar has strained the relationship between the two nuclear armed neighbours.
On one hand where Pakistan has been crying foul to the global community over Kashmir, in contrast, has been enabling the infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan to create unrest in the valley. 'Peaceloving' Imran Khan has been seeking the world's attention over the Kashmir conflict, however, New Delhi has categorically stated that 'talks and terror' can't go hand in hand.
In an apparent reference to Pakistan during Howdy Modi in Houston, PM Modi said that the people who cannot even manage their own country are harbouring terrorism and supporting terrorism. "The entire world knows about this," he added. "Where do you find conspirators of 9/11 and 26/11 terror attacks," Modi said, referring to terror attacks in the US and Mumbai. "Time has come for a decisive fight against those who promote and support terrorism," he added.
Islamabad and Pakistan Army has always maintained a pro-Taliban stance, pertaining to their old links with the terror organisation, ever since its inception in 1994.
Experts have opined that Pakistan has viewed the armed militant group, Taliban, as the 'legitimate representatives' of Afghanistan as opposed to the Afghan government, who has opposed to Islamabad's interference in Kabul. It has also been in public domain that the ISI's long history of involvement in backing and promoting terrorism, packaged as Pakistan's geostrategic interest.
The unilateral decision by Donald Trump's administration to end the talks with the Taliban over the peace deal might affect Pakistan's relationship with Taliban, as they pushed the armed group towards reonciliation. While, most believe that Pakistan brought Taliban to the talking table, Washington did not take Islamabad into consideration before calling the talks to be 'dead'
In the past years, Pakistan has seen a sharp decline in trade with Afghanistan after it shifted 70% of its trade to India and China. This move drastically affected the former's economy.
In a letter written to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) dated August 22, Afghanistan had also raised the issue of 'continued violations of its territory by military forces of Pakistan government'. Afghanistan also stated that the attacks by Pakistan have resulted in the destruction of residential property and displacement of local population, which has suffered greatly as a result of the latest violations.
The dramatic escalation of tensions in the Gulf region, pertaining to serious conflicts between Iran-US and its crucial ally Saudi Arabia has consequently affected relations of Tehran and Islamabad. With Pakistan's proximity with the Saudi Kingdom, Tehran has always viewed the country with a prism of suspicion. Pakistan's dwindling economy has been reliant on the Kingdom, who has helped the cash-strapped nation to 'beef up their reserves,' as Imran Khan admitted on Monday during an interview in the United States.
Iran's affability with India, and the development of Chabahar port is also seen as a threat to China funded Gwadar port in Balochistan.
On February 17, three days after the Pulwama terror attack, Iran sternly warned Pakistan to take action, accusing the country of perpetrating a deadly suicide attack on the Iranian security forces this week by terrorist outfit Jaish al-Adl that killed 27 people. Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari had called Islamabad for a crackdown or notified them of "retaliation". Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had blamed the Pakistan military and intelligence agency ISI saying that "sheltering and silence" equals to backing the perpetrators.