Pakistan has systematically lied to and manipulated successive US presidential administrations – Republican and Democratic – in ways that have made America and the world less safe.
Arthur Herman, writing in The Hill said that it’s time to pull the plug on the toxic relationship with Pakistan.
Islamabad has been the recipient of more than USD 33 billion in American assistance since 2002, including USD 14 billion to combat terrorism and terrorists in the region but Pakistan has been busily doing the opposite.
In the wake of the debacle of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, it’s time to radically reassess our policy toward Pakistan. It’s time for policymakers, past and present, to explain why we continue to provide assistance to a country that cozies up to our enemies; has proliferated nuclear technology to some of the worst governments on earth; and has betrayed our friendship time and again, said Herman.
Pakistan has violated commitments to the US in the 1980s to not build a nuclear weapon; they also proceeded to proliferate that knowledge via the AQ Khan network. That proliferation network secretly armed North Korea.
Following the US invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan gave safe haven to the most wanted man in the War on Terror, Osama bin Laden, for nearly a decade until US special forces tracked him down in 2011.
In addition, Pakistan’s military and secret service have continuously protected and assisted terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network and the Taliban, even as US and NATO forces were fighting and dying to suppress the same groups, reported The Hill.
Moreover, Pakistan has been increasingly cozying ties with China. Islamabad accepted a USD 60 billion handout from China in 2013, formalizing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as part of China’s Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative.
Today, Pakistan is all but a Chinese client state, says Herman.
China is training Pakistan’s intelligence services and the People’s Liberation Army and Pakistani army are forging close links, including conducting joint military exercises and buying Chinese tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other military equipment.
These aren’t the actions of an ally. The sad truth is, Pakistan has been playing a clever double game with the US, which has paid off handsomely for Islamabad but not for the peace and security of the region, reported The Hill.
Given that history, and in the wake of Pakistan’s support of the Taliban and its top security chief’s journey to Kabul to bless the new Afghan government, Washington should stop sales of military equipment to Pakistan and all economic assistance, and induce allies such as Britain and Saudi Arabia to do the same; migrate Pakistan from the “grey list” to the “black list” for the Financial Action Task Force’s sanctions against countries providing funding for terrorism, alongside Iran and North Korea; and impose sanctions on individual Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Pakistan Army officials, including suspending travel to the US and freezing bank assets, just as we do with other officials involved in state-sponsored terrorism networks, advised Herman.