The Trump Administration finally released its South Asia strategic policy that hinges on three elements: one, the centre of future geopolitics in South Asia will be Afghanistan due to its proximity with Iran, Central Asia (and Russia), China and, importantly, Pakistan. Two, India has been assumed as a strategic partner with a major role not only in Afghanistan but also in regional matters; three, Pakistan is now going to be perceived as a non-transactional and conditionalised country. The present shift in the US policy is not necessarily a hallmark of the current administration, but a consequence of academic research that views China as an emerging superpower after three decades. Russia is already seen as a major power with the will and capacity to challenge the US hegemony in (Central) Asia and (East) Europe. India, whose relations with Pakistan and China remain structurally conflictual, is thus regarded as an emerging major power with a huge market. The former is engaging some Southeast Asian countries bordering China besides consolidating its hegemonic position within South Asia. Moreover, India is viewed as the world’s largest electoral democracy in the west that adds to its strength. Putting faith in China and Russia to help Pakistan counter the US is naive. Due to its own peculiar geopolitics, China is not likely to support Pakistan beyond moral and diplomatic means By contrast, Pakistan is understood as a small country with a defective democracy, divided society, semi-capital market and, importantly, jihadi policy. Indubitably, militant organisations were created in and around Pakistan with the Saudi money, US weaponry and Pakistani training and space during the 1980s to fight the Soviet communism. What most of Pakistani people and policymakers failed to understand is the Afghan war ended in 1989 and the US, having emerged as the sole superpower, disengaged from the region. From this logic, Pakistan was supposed to roll back the whole jihadi business. This never happened due to our preoccupation with India. Nevertheless, 9/11 once again afforded Pakistan with the opportunity to interact with the US. The latter entered into short-term transactional relations with the former. In exchange for ‘billions and billions of dollars’, Pakistan provided air bases, supply routes and intel to the US. However, from Pentagon’s perspective, Pakistan double-crossed too. The killing of Bin Laden, among others, on Pakistani territory is cited by the Americans as a case in point. In addition, since Musharraf’s days, the list of banned militant organisations is available with foreign governments and the very presence of such entities on (social) media point to their relative autonomy in the polity, politics and the state of Pakistan. Thus, the ‘do more’ mantra was often pronounced by the Obama Administration in an urge to change such a policy (dis)course in Pakistan. The latter did not take American assertions into account owing to overconfidence in its geopolitics where China was put as a counterweight to Washington. Paradoxically, despite the preceding, the US under Trump has literally and unprecedented threatened a pro-China and nuclear Pakistan with dire consequences if it fails to comply with the former to genuinely counter terrorism in South Asia. Trump’s policy speech, however, is apparently rendered ineffective by Pakistani authorities who, on the one hand, decided to take China, Russia and Saudi Arabia on board before (possibly) visiting Washington and, on the other, cautioned the US not to liken Pakistan to Vietnam and Cambodia. By adopting such a Trump-like style, Pakistani policy makers did and will harm the country’s interest. Pakistan is still dependent on the US-led financial institutions and pro-US countries such as Japan. In addition, the US and the NATO countries are still close allies and the current research points to further deepening of this time-tested security regime. Second, Saudi Arabia is far less dependent on Pakistan as it is on the US. The latter’s weaponry is a crucial component of the Saudi warfare in Yemen. Hence, it is fallacious an argument that Riyadh can negotiate with the US on Pakistan’s behalf. Third, it is equally naïve a thinking to put faith in China and Russia to help Pakistan counter the US. Due to its own peculiar geopolitics, China is not likely to support Pakistan beyond moral and diplomatic means. Importantly, sole reliance on China will further enable the latter to control the trajectory of bilateral relations from short to the long run. In addition, Chinese money comes with heavy conditions if accepted in duress will ruin our future generations. Besides, Russia may support us morally. The crux of the foregoing is it will be a foreign policy mega blunder to lose the opportunity to work with the US to counter terrorism once and for all. We lost thousands of lives. It is indeed sorrowful but again it is due to our bad policies. It is time Pakistan revisits its security policy drastically and timely. Our pluralist Indus civilisation and our religion teach us peace. Pakistan’s topmost priority must onwards be perpetuation of internal and (extra) regional peace. Rather than publicly re-launching jihadism, our state ought to roll back such organisations and ideology. Last, if Pakistani authorities behaved as the Taliban did under Mullah Omar after 9/11, the former should be ready to pay the price ranging from denial of entry in the western world to possibly witness a drone or a Mother of All Bombs, every day. Afghanistan did receive one lately. Perhaps that was a precursor to the pronounced policy. The writer is Head, Department of Social Sciences, Iqra University, Islamabad. He is a DAAD, FDDI and Fulbright Fellow. He tweets @ejazbhatty Published in Daily Times, August 27th 2017.