Pakistan media is already wary of what Donald Trump as US President means for the country. It is worried that Trump would likely view Pakistan through the “prism” of India’s policies towards the neighbouring country. An editorial in the Dawn has today cautioned that the Modi government may move “very quickly” to project Pakistan as the common rival of the US and India. According to the Dawn, Trump is “neither drawn to the idea of deepening ties with Pakistan nor necessarily willing to continue the old ways of doing business between the two countries”. For Pakistan, it says, the concern is obvious – that Trump may see the country through an Indian, or perhaps even Afghan, prism.
The editorial flags two issues that may work against Pakistan – one that the current Indian government would see Donald Trump as a natural ally, and two, that Trump’s rhetoric against China and the need to signal continuity in policies may push him more towards India. All however, may not be lost, the editorial adds. For one, it appreciates Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s move to congratulate Trump. It also believes that policymakers in Pakistan should be ready for two scenarios – that Trump may positively influence Indo-Pakistan ties, specially with reference to the Kashmir situation or and more dangerously, Trump may seek Pakistan as a problem with regards to international and regional issues.
Additionally, Dawn feels that Pakistan government should not ignore the role of US Congress. It raises the point that in the last few years, US Congress has increasingly become hostile towards Pakistan. “The US is a vital country for Pakistan’s security and prosperity; policymakers here must approach the months and years ahead sensibly and with sensitivity,” Dawn says.
There is little doubt that India may very well stand to gain from Donald Trump’s presidency, especially in the context of Pakistan. Trump has indicated zero tolerance to terrorism and terrorists and with that in mind, India should look to drive home the important point that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism cannot be taken lightly. Pakistan media it seems is well aware of this threat, and has thus chosen to warn of its possible implications.