The government of Pakistan may feel reassured by a draft resolution that was introduced in the US Congress, during PM Khan’s visit to DC, however, the push back against the resolution in the American media and Congress has been strong.
On Monday July 22nd, Representatives. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jim Banks of Indiana introduced a resolution “welcoming Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Washington and recommitting the United States to “continuing support and commitment to the long and enduring friendship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” The draft resolution also declared, “Pakistan and the United States have a shared interest and are cooperating in efforts to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
However, the wording of the resolution was embarrassing to read. The resolution had patently false and obsequious phrases like “the situation in Pakistan has improved and foreign investments are returning to Pakistan with the confidence that there is full security and access to speedy justice, transparency, and accountability” and “Pakistan’s security forces have successfully eliminated militants in the border areas at a huge material and human cost.”
The resolution even praised Imran Khan’s prowess as an athlete 27 years ago, listed the schools he had attended, and referred to his Oxford University degree with mentioning that his passed with a Third. Prime Minister Imran Khan was born into a Pashtun family in Lahore, Pakistan, and was educated in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, including the Royal Grammar School in Worcester, Aitchison College in Lahore, and Oxford University” “Imran Khan’s athletic prowess matches that of his political prowess and has earned him a reputation as one of the greatest bowlers and cricket players of all time leading Pakistan’s national team to a Cricket World Cup victory in 1992;” and “following his athletic career, Prime Minister Imran Khan remained in the public eye as a philanthropist and the primary fund raiser for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, a specialized cancer hospital in Lahore, which opened in 1994 and was named for his mother who lost her battle to cancer in 1985.”
As Michael Rubin, former Pentagon official and scholar, wrote in The Washington Examiner, “Far from accomplishing anything for U.S. national security, diplomacy, or peace and stability in South Asia, the resolution should become a case study in what happens when congressmen apparently allow lobbyists to write legislation for them. Its obsequiousness insults U.S. servicemen who have fought and died in Afghanistan.”
As The Washington Examiner article notes, “Wanting to end America’s longest war is one thing; doing it on an enemy’s terms is quite another. Resolving difficulties between the United States and Pakistan would be in the interests of both countries, but such resolution must be based on reality: Pakistan continues to shield, support, and sponsor terrorist groups. Pakistan consistently undermined Afghanistan’s security and stability. While Trump, with whom Jackson Lee bizarrely makes common cause, pursues a peace process in Afghanistan, Khan has double dealt, diplomatically feigning cooperation with Trump and his envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, while smelling blood and positioning the Taliban for the kill.”
In the end Rubin asserts, “If Jackson Lee and Banks really cared about Pakistan, they would speak truth to Khan, rather than seemingly use their offices to allow Pakistan a free pass to launder it position papers through Congress. Congressmen may regularly assail President Trump’s vanity and naïveté, but the Jackson Lee-Banks resolution suggests a dangerous lack of strategic vision in both parties and a failure on Capitol Hill to honor the legacy and sacrifice of American troops who have made so many sacrifices to promote a better future in Afghanistan and keep al Qaeda on the run.”