Despite the fact that Pakistan has been significantly successful in curbing terrorism, the NSA John Bolton does not believe that Pakistan is internally strong enough to thwart an assumed Islamist takeover of the state. On March 23, President Trump announced in a tweet that he was replacing HR McMaster with John Bolton as National Security Advisor. In any event, President Trump’s decision to make Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel to head the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is not a good omen; appointing John Bolton as the new National Security Advisor (NSA) shows that his foreign policy is going to wind up more forcefully than ever. Bolton will fill in as Trump’s third advisor after Michael Flynn and Lt-Gen HR McMaster. Moreover, Bolton is one of the supposed ‘many people’ who believe that Pakistan’s security agencies are under Islamists’ influence, a suspicion that then manages the US narrative on Pakistan which resultantly paints Pakistan not as a ‘non-NATO’ ally but rather as an adversary; the main cause behind its failure in Afghanistan.South Asia needs a careful approach and policy reevaluation from the US government. Be that as it may, if there is one individual with the ability to prevent the disaster, it is the President himselfThe Bolton account, as is apparent, fits pleasantly into India’s worldwide pro-terrorist projections of Pakistan. Not only will it add to Pakistan’s long list of issues at the international level, for example, the threat of being blacklisted by FATF, in addition it will be instrumental in tilting the regional balance of power in favor of India. Moreover, it is clear that John Bolton thinks differently about China-Pak ties, as he believes that the US may end up gifting Pakistan to China if the US keeps on putting excessive pressure on Pakistan to do more. He rather suggests in his article for the Wall Street Journal, that the US should utilise its leverage on China to induce Pakistan to ‘sever ties with terrorists and close their sanctuaries. The Trump administration should make it clear that Beijing will face consequences if it does not realise its massive interests in support of this goal.”Unmistakably John Bolton, particularly like President Trump, needs to squeeze Pakistan; however, he wouldn’t like to do as such by forcing sanctions on Pakistan or by removing the military aid. Rather, his approach is to take action by utilising India in its strategy of isolating Pakistan and by pressing its significant partner, China. And whilst John Bolton doesn’t rely on pushing Pakistan too hard, the reason isn’t that he is understanding of Pakistan’s triumphs and forfeits but since he thinks pushing too hard would actualise Pakistan’s assumed control by the terrorist outfits. In an interview given in August last year, he stated: ‘If you push Pakistan too hard, this government in Pakistan is fragile. It has been since the partition of British India. The military in Pakistan itself is at risk, increasingly, of being infiltrated through the officer ranks by radical Islamists. Many people believe the intelligence services unit already is heavily dominated by Islamists.’In a nutshell, South Asia is in a critical need for a careful approach and policy reevaluation from the US government. Be that as it may, if there is one individual with the ability to keep away from disaster, it is simply the President himself. Regardless of whether President Trump has the will to persuade his new team to take part in diplomacy over war-plotting, yet remains to be seen. It is, in this manner, up to Islamabad to ponder the most significant reaction to the possible outcome. Pakistan may only be able to neutralise Bolton’s hostility by drawing him into tactful diplomacy. Any other plans to the contrary, including reciprocating that animosity, are probably going to backfire.The writer is working as Research Associate in Strategic Vision Institute. He can be reached at Ubaid@thesvi.orgPublished in Daily Times, April 16th 2018.