US Warns Pak: Will act alone to destroy terror networks


Sep 7, 2015
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The United States has for the first time publicly warned Pakistan that it will not hesitate to disrupt and destroy terrorist networks -which Washington now bluntly says is supported by the country's intelligence agency ISI -if Islamabad fails to act.

Successive US administrations have forever hesitated to act against Pakistan despite evidence of its fostering of terror groups which US officials have occasionally aired but mostly discussed discreetly . The argument to not act has centered on Pakistan's usefulness as an ally , particularly the access it offers into Afghanistan as a rent-extracting state, and the fear that with its nuclear arsenal, it is “too big to fail“.

Those arguments are now fading following Pakistan's intransigent support for terror groups despite international posturing about acting against them. Although expressed by a relatively mid-level Obama administration official in the context of countering the financing of terrorism, the American warning is direct and ominous.

After prefacing censure of Islamabad with the standard praise for its success against some terror groups, the administration's senior-most official in charge of monitoring terrorist financing, said “there are forces within the Pakistani government specifically in Pakistan's ISI that refuse to take similar steps against all the terror groups active in Pakistan, tolerating some groups or even worse.“

“This is a distinction we cannot stand for,“ warned Adam Szubin, in remarks at the Johns Hopkins University on Thursday released by the treasury department.“There should be no doubt that while we remain committed to working with Pakistan to confront ongoing terrorist financing and operations, the US will not hesitate to act alone, when necessary , to disrupt and destroy these networks.“

Accounts in the Pakistani media itself have revealed how the country's intelligence agencies and provincial governments fund terror groups, whose leaders thrive under state protection. Despite many of these groups and their leaders being proscribed by the United States, not to speak of the United Na tions, Washington has fecklessly allowed them to flourish unhindered while eliminating scores of unknown and unnamed terrorists.

Pakistani military generals and politicians who patronise the terror groups, including many who attend funeral of terrorists they describe as martyrs, have been entertained in Washington over the years, making a mockery of US claims to fight against terrorism. The US also continued to bankroll Pakistan with aid, albeit curtailed, even though the assistance enables Islamabad to divert its money to expand its nuclear arsenal and bankroll terrorist groups.

In the most recent case, the Obama administration has been scorned by Hafiz Saeed, a UN designated terrorist who thrives in the open under Pakistani state protection despite the state department having announced a $ 10 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction. A growing number of liberal voices within Pakistan are now seeking action against him and other terrorists patronized by the Pakistani establishment.

While US seems to be making some threatening noises at the tail end of the Obama administration, the general impression is that Washington only wants to kick the can down the road into the next year. Officials have privately expressed helplessness while talking of “hard conversations“ that are taking place with Pakistanis.

The latest gambit Pakistan is trying -expressed tackily through two special envoys who visited US some days ago -is to extract more American aid and support for its position on Kashmir by threatening to ally with Russia and with China, which for all its economic windfall, is only throwing crumbs at Pakistan. The Obama administration's response to Pakistan's threat: Go ahead.

Has the US finally seen the futility of its policies of hobnobbing with the Pak Establishment by doling out huge sums of money for the ostensible reason of its assisting the US in the WOT? It is a clear case of the tail wagging the dog where the Pak generals have been blowing sand into the eyes of the US policy makers. It's time for the US to act now and put the screws into Pakistan to stop aiding and abetting terrorism around the world especially against India and Afghanistan.

However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let's wait and watch what the US does next. Mouthing warnings is of little consequence. They need to act - now!

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