Washington [USA], Jun 4 (ANI): A noted American scholar has hinted that it’s about time for the US forces to strike at Afghan Taliban bases in Pakistan as part of its counter-terrorism fight in Afghanistan.
“In its counter-terrorism fight in Afghanistan, US forces have yet to strike at Afghan Taliban bases in Pakistan. While the US military has violated Pakistani territory – for example, in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden whom Pakistani authorities were hiding – it has never taken the Afghanistan fight into Pakistan,” Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said through his article published in The National Interest.
“It may be time to do so if only to signal to Pakistan the costs of providing safe haven to the Taliban and also to signal to Islamabad that it will not be immune from terror camp targeting as US counter-terrorism strategy in Afghanistan shifts from occupation to an over-the-horizon posture,” he added.
Rubin further said, “Pakistan may be a nuclear power, but this is a move which India has used to great effect to demonstrate the consequences of Pakistani terror support.”
The US and NATO forces have been fighting against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan since 2001 but failed to achieve success because of terrorists having safe havens in Pakistan.
The American scholar said, “If the Afghan peace process is to succeed, then the United States must bring the full weight of leverage to bear on Pakistan in order to win a cessation of Pakistani support for the Taliban.”
Despite decades of tension and occasional sanctions, mostly applied over the nuclear issue, the United States has many unused options in its diplomatic arsenal which can be deployed to compel Pakistan to reduce support to the Taliban or to raise the cost of defiance. Rubin added that the US must withdraw all its financial aid to Pakistan as it has failed in all quarters to act against terrorism.
“Pakistan might be put on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist given its extensive ties to terror groups. Simply put, there is no reason why Pakistan should receive a pass for diplomatic convenience, especially when it has shown a consistent unwillingness to act with goodwill,” the scholar stated.
“In 2004, the George W Bush administration designated Pakistan as ‘a Major Non-NATO Ally.’ This move provided Islamabad with benefits in both defence purchasing and cooperation and was also a mark of confidence in Pakistan. Rescinding such designation would accordingly signal a lack of confidence,” Rubin also said.
Pakistan continues, with US support, to receive International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank loans to help resolve its balance-of-payments problems, most recently negotiating a USD 6 billion IMF loan.
“Given the amount Pakistan spends on militancy support, the future US position should be to oppose all such loans or at least make them contingent on an end to any assistance to the Taliban. Consider that to be the Pakistan equivalent of the ‘Taylor Force Act’,” the scholar lastly added. (ANI)