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  • Clock Is Ticking on Pakistan’s Inaction Against Terrorists

    Last month, the Republican Study Committee recommended that Congress consider attaching more stringent counterterrorism conditions on U.S. aid to Pakistan.

    Citing new evidence about the potential involvement of Pakistani intelligence officials in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Pakistan’s refusal to take action against the Haqqani network, the memo suggests requiring the Pakistan government to confront terrorism within its own intelligence ranks, take tangible actions against the Haqqani network, and act against the network that shielded Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Abbottabad.

    The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 prohibits security aid to Pakistan until the Secretary of State certifies that Pakistan has, among other things, “demonstrated a sustained commitment to and is making significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certified that Pakistan had met these conditions on March 18, 2011. Ironically, the certification came only weeks before the U.S. raided bin Laden’s Pakistan compound—an operation that required Pakistani officials to be kept completely in the dark so as not to jeopardize the odds of success.

    New conditions on aid to Pakistan may not convince the Pakistani military and intelligence leadership to take additional steps against other terrorist groups residing in Pakistan, namely the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Haqqani network, or provide the U.S. assistance in tracking individuals that facilitated bin Laden’s lengthy stay in Pakistan. And this is precisely the argument that most opponents of conditioning aid to Pakistan continually make.

    However, Congress is under obligation to ensure that U.S. foreign aid is consistent with U.S. foreign policy objectives and vital national security interests. The U.S. cannot justify continuing to provide aid to a foreign government that refuses to act against enemies of the U.S. within its borders or against individuals responsible for terrorist acts, especially when those acts involve U.S. victims, as in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    Administration officials and most Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle sincerely desire better relations with and a better future for Pakistan. Yet they cannot deny the reality that terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan are jeopardizing everything the U.S. has fought for and sacrificed in Afghanistan since 9/11.

    There has been a tremendous loss of confidence in the relationship following the bin Laden raid. While there is no evidence that senior Pakistani officials knew about bin Laden’s presence, Members of Congress are angry that Pakistan has focused more attention on punishing individuals who helped track the world’s most wanted terrorist, such as Dr. Shakil Afridi, than in finding and punishing those who helped shelter bin Laden all those years.

    The U.S. is not calling on Pakistan to crack down more comprehensively on terrorist sanctuaries purely for its own benefit. U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed their belief that such a crackdown would benefit Pakistan’s own future. Pakistani officials argue that they don’t have the capacity to deal with these groups in a comprehensive and consistent way. But this argument rings hollow when terrorist leader and LeT founder Hafiz Muhammed Sayeed roams the country freely making speeches and raising funding for his LeT front organization.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently suggested to Congress that they condition, rather than cut, aid to Pakistan. This gives Pakistan’s leadership more time to contemplate their current path and adjust their policies toward terrorist groups like the LeT and the Haqqani network. There is still time for Pakistan to change course, but the clock is ticking.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Clock Is Ticking on Pakistan’s Inaction Against Terrorists

    1. andygeezer says:

      Its time to stop all financial support & aid to this failed state of terror

    2. Abd says:

      Miss Lisa obviously do not know anything about Pakistan, its history, Indian threat, US role in cold war and its consequences in Pakistan, Hindu militant threat to Pakistan where Modi the butcher is eying to become next PM of India while Pakistanies never voted for religious fanatics. Miss Lisa needs to research a lot before jumping on conclusions. Panetta is the prime example of an arrogant and ignorant person who's policies cost US a vital ally in the region.

      • Robert says:

        What vital ally? The vital ally that hid Osama bin Laden, hides countless other terrorists such as Mullah Omar and is the origin of numerous terrorist attacks in the world? And why are Pakistanis so obsessed with India?

    3. sukhish says:

      the clock will keep ticking for ever. U.S does not have the guts to do that. same things have been said time and over and nothing new has come out.

    4. PAZ says:

      Clocking is ticking Pakistan SO WHAT???. What next. Can a bankrupt America afford another war with Pakistan, which is not Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya or Yemen or Somilia. God have mercy on America, infested with Noecon style journalists.

    5. Guru says:

      Lisa, you have got it right as usual. Its time for Pakistan to walk the talk. For too long has Pakistan relied on its policy of seeking aid without any tangible commitment to fight terror. Far from fighting terror, there is glaring evidence that it continues its obnoxious practice of sponsoring and aiding various terrorist groups in the misguided belief that it is in its strategic interests. All this while Pakistan is itself slowing bleeding from terrorism. It appears that it is hell bent on a self destructive route. At this juncture, it is high time that the world read the riot act to the powerful Pakistan Army. If it refuses, separation is better than an inconvenient marriage. Who knows the spouse may yet return after mending his ways?

    6. observer (UK) says:

      It is obvious that the Pakistan military is literally running a parallel administration. They just do not obey the civilian government and therefore common man should not suffer from an indisciplined army who consider themselves as a sacred cow. If the US has to take any action it should turn the screws on the corrupt generals.

    7. Somnath Mukhopadhyay says:

      I think it is right to make every dollar conditional on Pakistan taking steps to counter terrorism. There is a strong minority of educated Pakistanis who want a relatively secular and liberal nation. This minority is throttled by the fanatical majority who support the policy of the ISI of developing an international terrorist network. This has been Pakistani policy since the birth of this hapless nation. Initially, the terrorists were solely directed towards India. I truly feel there is little hope for Pakistan. It will continue to be a powder keg. It will kill and be killed. The world's nations will have to decide collectively how this powder keg can be contained, century upon century. India has faced this problem of fanatics invading from its West for many centuries. Now, with globalisation, Pakistan has become a permanent problem for the whole world. 170 million people, at least 100 million of whom are fanatics who have no time for freedom or liberal thought, who believe in physical violence as a route to occupation to create a worldwide state. This problem will never go away.

    8. Madhan says:

      All these years when India was crying foul with Pakistani official terror ways, the world was not bothered to listen how much dangerous it could turnout to be. Now the same snake, which Hillary Clinton is talking about now have started baiting them, they have started realizing the dangers. If Bangladesh wanted to go its own way, Pakistan should ask them. Not India. If Pakistan thinks that it can extract revenge by snatching Kashmir from India, they must day dreaming only. India doesn't want Pakistan in any way. Pakistan must shed its obsession with India and stop hedging terror groups as a tool to achieve its nefarious goals and start living in peace with itself and let world also to have peace.

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