“In our discussion today, we talked about the importance of managing a responsible relationship with India, and I also urged our colleagues to engage China on some of the important issues of debt relief and restructure so that Pakistan can more quickly recover from the floods,” These were the words of U S Secretary of State Antony J Blinken at a press briefing that he held along with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Zardari Bhutto last week.
What did the US Secretary of state imply by advising Pakistan to conduct and manage responsible relationship with India? There were several interpretations to it, but looking at bottom of the whole spectrum shows that he was asking Islamabad to meet the conditions set by Delhi for normalization of relations with Pakistan. That is that Pakistan should stop export of terrorism to India.
Pakistan’s role in patronizing terrorism, seeding it in the mindset of society and then using them as foreign policy assets is known the world over. America itself has been the victim of the terrorism emanating from the soil of Pakistan. All the routes of the 9/11 terror attack, the biggest terror assault in the world, was ultimately traced to al-Qaeda and Taliban which worked in close coordination with ISI- Pakistan’s spy agency. Not only al-Qaeda Supremo Osama bin Laden was found in Pakistan but also the whole terror network responsible for acts of terror in America and other countries in the West.
And it was not for the first time that the US had made these kinds of remarks, in a way indicted Pakistan, but there were other occasions too.
Former President Donald Trump, in a tweet on January 1, 2018, had shamed Pakistan. He had said: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump tweeted. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” That, in fact, was an echo of what Pakistan’s assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had also revealed in an article in The Times, London.
And Blinken’s predecessor Hillary Clinton had told at a news conference in Islamabad, along with then Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, on October 21, 2011: “It’s like that old story – you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in backyard.”
The simple lesson, which Pakistan should have drawn, from all these words and the view the US held about Pakistan is that the country is a hub of terrorism from where terrorism flows to all corners of the world. The US is also aware that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism has hit India hard and it is important that Pakistan squeeze terror networks to improve its own image and save itself from the hostile relations it has with its neighbours.
Pakistan has not been able to find suitable answers to these questions about its terror-rich image and the content. Now the terrorism is hitting it hard as well. There are reports of the people in Swat rising against the resurgence of terrorism. They have told the terrorists to pack up and asked authorities to take action against the terrorists or face consequences of internal revolt.
What is intrigu9ng is that, while Pakistan maintained a silence over what Blinken said, it sharply reacted to Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s observation that “Pakistan is expert in international terrorism.” This is an irony, as the fact remains that Pakistan is unable to hide the snakes it exports to India from its soil, and it also cannot hide the shame that these snakes have started biting it too. That Pakistan has an expertise par excellence in rearing and exporting terrorism is making it reel from frustration. The excuses will not work, Pakistan will have to do something concrete to kill terrorism on its soil and give up its ambitions to achieve its foreign policy goal through terrorism.
About the Author:
Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, and The Tribune. He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with those of prameyanews.com