February 7, 2017 3:34:27 pm
The US should “levy costs” on Pakistan for perpetuating terrorism in India and Afghanistan and must quickly formulate a new approach toward the country to prevent it from using terror for foreign policy ends, top US think-tanks have recommended to the Trump administration. “For too long, the US has given Pakistan a pass on its support for some terrorist groups based in Pakistan, including those used against India. The US squandered a valuable opportunity in the aftermath of 9/11 and the 2001-2002 India-Pakistani military crisis to alter the Pakistani military’s fundamental calculations on the use of terrorism for foreign policy ends,” said the report prepared by eminent South Asia experts from nearly 10 top American think tanks.
“The objective of the Trump administration’s policy toward Pakistan must be to make it more and more costly for Pakistani leaders to employ a strategy of supporting terrorist proxies to achieve regional strategic goals,” said the report titled ‘A New US Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties’, which would be formally released on Friday. “There should be no ambiguity that the US considers Pakistan’s strategy of supporting terrorist proxies to achieve regional strategic advantage as a threat to US interests. US policy must also pay attention to non-proliferation goals while dealing with Pakistan,” it said.
“Pakistani military leaders continue to support terrorist groups that attack India in an effort to keep it off balance and to draw international mediation into the dispute with India over Kashmir,” said the report. “Pakistan’s use of terrorist groups as part of its security and foreign policy is a function of its obsession with India, which it perceives as an existential threat. From an outside perspective, Pakistan’s paranoia regarding India is unfounded,” it said.
“Pakistan’s seemingly unconstrained expansion of its nuclear arsenal, particularly the development of tactical nuclear weapons and extended–range missile systems, also remains a cause for concern, especially with regard to India,” said the report co-authored by Lisa Curtis from The Heritage Foundation and Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, who is now with The Hudson Institute. With India-Pakistan tensions on the rise, the report recommends that the Trump administration must formulate a new policy approach toward Pakistan quickly.
The report, which is believed to have become part of the internal deliberations of President Donald Trump’s administration, on what to do with Pakistan says as a first step, the US must warn Pakistan that its status as a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) is in serious jeopardy.
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