Times of India Editorial & Vocabulary – President Trump’s straight talk on Pakistan’s terror policy


President Trump’s straight talk on Pakistan’s terror policy is laudable

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan may have scored brownie points domestically by lashing out at US President Donald Trump’s for his statement that Islamabad does not help in the war against terror. But his carefully crafted response is not just misleading,  it also indicates that Pakistan will not abandon the use of terrorism as a foreign policy tool.

Khan’s claim that Trump was berating Pakistan only to cover its own failure against Taliban in Afghanistan despite 14,000 NATO troops, 250,000 Afghan troops and over $1 trillion expenditure is obfuscatory. What Khan avoids mentioning in his response is that Pakistan continues to support and fund the Haqqani network and Taliban in Afghanistan, providing them safe havens that is key to their success in frustrating the Western effort to stabilise Afghanistan.

Second, Khan again obfuscated when he said that no Pakistani was involved in September 11 terror attacks. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a 9/11 mastermind who has been described as a principal architect of the terror attack, was Pakistani. But the most brazen act of deceit by Pakistani Army and ISI was hiding Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. Pakistan decided to ally with the US in its war on terror only to save itself from the wrath of the Americans.

It is true that Pakistan has lost 75,000 people and billions of dollars to terrorism, as Khan claims. But most of it is self-inflicted, as it is an outcome of the strategic bet the Pakistani state has made by supporting terror groups aimed at Afghanistan and India for the last 40 years.

Trump’s straight talk on Pakistan’s deceitful policy on terrorism is commendable. But whether he will follow up by making Pakistan accountable for and reversing that policy is an open question.


Lashing out: strike someone with a whip or stick

Example: They lashed him repeatedly about the head

Synonyms: whip, flog, flagellate, beat, thrash, horsewhip, scourge, birch


Indicate: point out

Example: Dotted lines indicate the text’s margins

Synonyms: specify, designate, mark, stipulate, show


Abandon: give up completely a course of action, a practice, or a way of thinking

Example: He had clearly abandoned all pretense of trying to succeed

Synonyms: renounce, relinquish, dispense with, disclaim, forgo, disown


Berate: scold or criticize someone angrily.

Example: His mother came out and berated me for raising my voice

Synonyms: scold, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reprove, admonish, chide


Frustrate: prevent a plan or attempted action from progressing, succeeding, or being fulfilled.

Example: His attempt to frustrate the merger

Synonyms: thwart, defeat, foil, block, stop, put a stop to, counter, spoil, check


Obfuscate: render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

Example: The spelling changes will deform some familiar words and obfuscate their etymological origins

Synonyms: obscure, confuse, make unclear, blur, muddle, complicate


Architect: a person who designs buildings and in many cases also supervises their construction.

Example: A council spokeswoman later confirmed that the authority had now put out tenders for landscape design architects, building architects and quantity surveyors.

Synonyms: designer, planner, draftsman


Wrath: extreme anger chiefly used for humorous or rhetorical effect.

Example: He hid his pipe for fear of incurring his father’s wrath

Synonyms: anger, rage, fury, outrage, spleen, vexation


Commendable: deserving praise.

Example: Commendable restraint

Synonyms: admirable, praiseworthy, creditable, laudable, estimable


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