Pakistan reaches out to US President-elect through aide
Islamabad: Pakistan has approached United States President-elect Donald Trump through one of his close aides, Sajid Tarar, seeking to develop an `understanding` with the new regime.
The development comes just days after Trump`s surprising victory in the US presidential election, after which policymakers in Pakistan are now discussing options on how to deal with the newly-elected leader given his radical stance on international and regional issues, reports the Express Tribune.
To many Pakistanis, Trump`s anti-Muslim rhetoric- he once proposed banning Muslims entering the United States- and business ties to India are signs that his administration could favour arch-foe New Delhi.
A senior official with the knowledge of the `proactive` approach to reach out to the Republican leader said that Pakistan`s Ambassador in Washington Jalil Abbas Jilani wrote a letter to Trump on behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to congratulate him on his victory, as well as his government`s desire to work with his administration.
But, apart from these diplomatic actions, Islamabad is also relying on `unconventional` approaches, such as reaching out to the Trump administration through his advisers.
One of his advisers that have been approached by Pakistan is Sajid Tarar, a Pakistani-American, who came to the limelight after he founded a movement in the US seeking the support of Muslims for Trump in the presidential race.
Tarar was one of the 36 advisers appointed by the Republican for the election campaign and is expected to be given a key role in the Trump Administration.
Tarar has confirmed that he was approached by Pakistan as part of its efforts to reach out to Trump and his administration.
He cautioned Pakistan that the country "needs to put its own house in order because the Trump administration will not tolerate double talk on the issue of terrorism anymore."
When asked what would be his advice to the new administration, Tarar said being a "proud Pakistani and a proud Muslim American" he would request the new US president to review financial assistance being given to Pakistan.
"For decades, American money did not reach common Pakistanis and unfortunately only benefited the rich elite," Tarar said adding that it should change now.
On foreign policy issues, Tarar said the new US president would revisit the policies being pursued by his predecessors.
Tarar said the new US President would definitely have his own strategy on Afghanistan and issues prevailing in South Asia.