Islamabad, Pakistan: Almost all important European foreign ministers contacted the Pakistani foreign ministers this week.
The office of the Pakistani Foreign Minister in Islamabad was flooded with telephone calls from his counterparts from all over Europe. Why did Pakistan come such an important and friendly country for Europeans who usually mention the name of Pakistan only for passing diplomatic taunts?
The answer comes from a story released by Associated Press. What is this news?
The AP reported that at a virtual meeting of Group of Seven leaders last week, US President Biden “clashed” with America’s closest allies. The reason was simple. Their men and women were on the ground in the ruthless land of Afghanistan and the US forces manning Kabul Airport were busy transferring their goods and people. Who did care for leftover European diplomats and their families? It was Pakistan that managed their safe passage from Kabul Airport and ensured their security to their homelands.
It is believed that Powerful 7 also known as P7 were totally at the mercy of Pakistan for the safe evacuation of their citizens. They had been telling President Biden to extend the evacuation date but he did not listen to them. They were naïve enough that they pleaded with President Biden, noting that, “no country would be able to evacuate all their citizens and at-risk Afghan allies by the Aug. 31 deadline.”
This was Pakistan that did it — Is it not amazing?
What a chaotic situation for NATO-allied countries? The iron lady of the EU, Angela Merkel said the evacuation mission is (was) impossible without US help. Canada says it was forced to leave about 1,250 Canadian citizens in Afghanistan. Britain left behind up to 1,100 Afghans who worked for its military and embassy, while Germany left behind at least 6,000 of its Afghan partners and France left behind at least 1,000. Here is now Pakistan that is managing mess and people left by NATO allied forces in Afghanistan.
Interestingly, President Biden was not available to his partners for hours and hours and reports claim that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to take 36 hours to reach President Biden.
US columnist Marc Thiessen in his opinion “Biden’s Afghan retreat has done irreparable damage to our alliances” writes that special relationship with NATO allies are shaken because NATO allies were in Afghanistan only because America was attacked on 9/11, and there were more NATO than U.S. forces in Afghanistan when Biden made the decision to withdraw without any serious consultation with allied forces.
One should remember that President Biden was also instrumental in the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 and even at that time he did not give any heed to suggestions coming from allies.
Supporters of President Biden believe that he got his forces out of Afghanistan because the economic brunt was faced only by the United States while NATO allies had no tangible proposal for staying or leaving Afghanistan. One has to take the decision and this was a brave decision to take out US forces from hell after 20 long years.
In the last 20 years, Pakistan had been tagged a country helping terrorists though Pakistani sacrificed 85,000 citizens and men in uniform for NATO allies’ war in Afghanistan. Pakistani students had been denied visas, Pakistani practically were tagged as Persona Non-Grata by European countries. Pakistan’s economy was ruined but Pakistan always stood for Afghan Peace and resolution of Afghan Conflict and always provided support to NATO allies in Afghanistan.
Will European new love affair with Pakistan stay for a longer period or will it be just a diplomatic “One Night Stand”?