As the international media is abuzz about the US President-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s telephonic call, it has emerged that Republican Party’s Pakistani-American Sajid Tarar, founder of Muslims for Trump made possible telephonic contact between US President-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Tarar, in an interview with US media, said that the Pakistani government reached out to Trump’s transition team through him. He said that since the election of Trump as US president, he was in constant touch with Pakistani administration officials.
Since Trump being the next president of the US is now a reality, Pakistan has decided to follow a ‘proactive’ approach to reach out to the Republican leader.
A senior official with the knowledge of that approach told a newspaper 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 manoeuvres, the government is also relying on ‘unconventional’ approaches, such as reaching out to the Trump administration through his advisers.
Regarding the Trump-Nawaz telephonic talks, Tarar said that it had become more than necessary that the prime minister of Pakistan must talk to the president-elect after Indian Prime Minister Modi’s chat with him over the phone.
On November 30, Donald Trump and Nawaz Sharif held a telephonic talk and Trump said he was ready to play any role that Pakistan wanted him, and find solutions to the outstanding problems. He said it will be an honour and he will personally do it.
He said, “Pakistan is an amazing country with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people.”
On being invited to visit Pakistan by the prime minister, the US president-elect said he would love to visit the ‘fantastic country of fantastic people’.
According to The Washington Post, Tarar attended law school in the United States after moving to America from Pakistan, and he became a US citizen in the 1990s. The newspaper says Tarar “owns real estate, works for an organisation ‘that deals with senior citizens,’ and has four kids — one of whom, he said, is a top squash player. Tarar said the president-elect would certainly adopt a ‘very tough’ stance against terrorism. “I can tell you that there will be straight talk now onwards on this issue,” said Tarar, who still frequently visits his country of origin and owns a house in Islamabad.
In an interview with an American magazine, Tarar explained why he started the organisation supporting Trump. “As Muslims, we have a hope that Trump can guide America toward the right direction,” said Tarar, 56, to the magazine. “He’s rewriting history.”
As for the Muslim ban, he said there should be a “ban or stop for some period of time,” and said, “The Quran says you need to be loyal to the country where you live. We have to do every possible thing to make our country safe.”
In the changing scenario, he has a word of caution for Pakistan saying 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.