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Home | Editorial | Pressuring Pakistan to ease peace in Afghanistan

Pressuring Pakistan to ease peace in Afghanistan

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Pressuring Pakistan to ease peace in Afghanistan
 The United States administration has announced suspending entire security assistance to Pakistan for failing to crack down on the Taliban and the Haqqani network on its soil.
The US state department’s announcement indicates Washington’s escalating frustration over Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting terrorist networks, which are allegedly destabilizing the region, in particular Afghanistan.
The US State Department spokeswoman told a news briefing in Washington on Thursday: “Today we can confirm that we are suspending … security assistance only to Pakistan at this time.”The aid cut-off was not permanent and only affected military assistance until the Pakistani government took stern action against groups including the Taliban and the Haqqani network.
The release came days after Washington turned the heat on Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif during his visit to the US, following up on warnings - including some issued by President Trump himself — that the US would take punitive action against Pakistan for its continued sponsorship of terrorism. The steps being considered included aid cutoff, resumption of drone strikes, ending its status as a major non-NATO ally, and in an extreme scenario, designation of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Putting pressure on Pakistan’s government to change its policies toward Afghanistan is central to the Trump administration’s strategy, announced in August, to stabilize the region and bring an end to America’s longest war, now in its 17th year.
The United States has provided Pakistan with more than $20 billion in security assistance and military reimbursements since fiscal 2002, much of that going to U.S.-manufactured hardware and funding for Pakistan’s counterterrorism activities. But aid flows have subsided in recent years, suggesting that this week’s decision — which eventually could result in Pakistan losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars — is unlikely to have the impact it once would have.
Afghan and American officials accuse Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence service of maintaining influence with the Taliban and the group’s most ascendant faction, the Haqqani network, which is behind many of the large-scale attacks on Afghan cities. Through those links, Pakistan has the ability to control at least some of the tempo of the fighting in Afghanistan — and it has done little to constrain it over the past two years.
Afghan leaders have pleaded with several United States administrations now to reconsider their support for Pakistan, which was both receiving billions of dollars in American aid and harboring on its soil the leaders of a Taliban insurgency that the Americans have struggled to defeat.
But when President Trump suspended nearly all American security aid to Pakistan on Thursday for what he has called the country’s “lies and deceit,” any jubilation in the halls of power in Afghanistan — and there was some — was leavened with worries over how the move might affect a complex war in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s interference in Afghanistan is hardly new. For decades it has tried to ensure that whatever regime rises to power in Kabul aligns with Islamabad’s interests. Since the US-led engagement in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan has quietly reestablished militant proxies to both hasten the departure of Western forces and influence post-NATO Afghanistan. The recent announcement that it is considering expanding US military involvement in the region, however, changes Pakistan’s calculus.
Meanwhile the NATO- member countries, the regional ones and even Pakistan itself know that neither Afghanistan has the intention of subduing of the world nor the agenda for expansion nor no serious and strategic threat is targeting Pakistan.
Any concern that Pakistan has regarding Afghanistan, should obviously and transparently be set forth with Kabul.Those countries bearing the main brunt of counterterrorism should not permit Pakistan for the removal of its unfounded worries, to lay down its fiefdom, resources and possibilities at the disposal of those groupings that their aims is over- throwing  of nascent democracy of Afghanistan and establishment of ideological emirates.
The US recent stance would succeed in a time that the country use all levers of exerting pressure against Pakistan that are in its disposal. Establishing peace and stability is the only wish of the war-torn Afghan nation.
 

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