Home Global Village US recognition that aid suspension to Pakistan will not Pay off

US recognition that aid suspension to Pakistan will not Pay off

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News Analysis |

On February 8, the US State Department informed Congress that the Trump administration’s decision to suspend its security assistance to Pakistan had failed to achieve its objectives because Islamabad had not changed its policies. Discussion over Pakistan was a major part of Tuesday’s hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the administration’s new South Asia strategy in which both US officials and lawmakers acknowledged that Islamabad played a vital role in bringing peace to Afghanistan.

Randall Schriver Assistant Secretary, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, in the US Department of Defence, told the Senate committee that Pakistan was not just an important partner but “they’re absolutely key to our strategy succeeding”.

On the other hand, the Committee’s Republican Chairman Senator Robert Corker, in his opening remarks, praised the US’s Jan 4 decision to suspend security aid to Pakistan. He said, “This administration has also rightly drawn a clear line with Pakistan, suspending security assistance of over a billion as long as Islamabad continues to shelter Haqqani and other terror groups that target innocent civilians, as well as US and allied forces”.

The “regional approach” means the new U.S. administration has come to understand that the Afghan conflict has outside dimensions and is not going to be resolved without addressing those factors.

The statement said that aid to Pakistan could restart if Pakistan met US conditions, but it went on to elucidate new ones; in particular, restraint on Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes and closer alignment of its non-proliferation policies with that of the US.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said, “There certainly hasn’t been any change that we would consider final and irrevocable.” He added, “We also encourage restraint in Pakistan’s military nuclear and missile programs, and seek continued, closer alignment of Pakistan’s non-proliferation policies with our own,”

In this regard, it is pertinent to highlight that Pakistan always follows the non-proliferation regime norms and has been receiving appreciation for the safety of its nuclear assets from the international community.

Read more: US freezing aid will have little impact on Pakistan

On the other hand, the US has repeatedly demonstrated a discriminatory approach towards Pakistan, as it fully supports India, a non-Proliferation Treaty member state, in getting membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group as an exemption in order to permit trade with India’s expanding nuclear sector.

Explaining this situation, Defense Secretary James Mattis told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that the regional strategy would be “connected to the geographical reality of where this enemy is fighting from.”

The accompanying agreement for ‘peaceful’ nuclear cooperation will permit American and Indian companies to partner together in ways that will foster growth in India’s civil nuclear sector, create a clean energy source which will benefit the environment, and will offer India greater energy security with stable sources of energy for its large and growing economy.

Each country follows its own national security policy and does not compromise its vital national interests. Pakistan is confident in its compliance with the principles of nuclear non-proliferation regimes and would not compromise on its nuclear or military assets.

Read more: US suspends Pakistan’s security aid despite years of sacrifices

Officials say security assistance can be restored if Islamabad takes ‘decisive and sustained’ action against terrorist groups. Randall G. Schriver Assistant Secretary, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, US Department of Defence, however, told the committee that Washington believes Pakistan was not just an important partner but “they’re absolutely key to our strategy succeeding”.

The suspension of security assistance to Pakistan may not serve the US’s objectives to stabilize the region given the existing geostrategic alignment of states in South Asia.

Addressing Pakistan’s complaints about its neighbours conducting terrorism in the country through proxies, the US official made it clear that they wanted to reduce tensions in the region. 

“To be clear, we oppose the use of terrorist proxies by any country against another country, anywhere in the world. The use of terrorism has no place in a rules-based international system,” he said.

Pakistan’s geostrategic importance cannot be ignored entirely; given it is a crucial partner in any US counter-terrorism efforts. Pakistan has been the frontline state in eradicating terrorism in the region and is also working with China via joint efforts to exterminate terrorism.

Read more: US urges Pakistan to move against Haqqani network

It has been 16 years and three U.S. administrations since 9/11, but the war in Afghanistan, the longest in the history of the United States, is still far from over. One key reason, often mentioned in public debates and media reports, is the Taliban’s outside support base, which refers to Pakistan.

It is pertinent to highlight that Pakistan always follows the non-proliferation regime norms and has been receiving appreciation for the safety of its nuclear assets from the international community.

The US is unwilling to recognise that it cannot negotiate with only one group to bring peace and rehabilitate Afghanistan. Scapegoating Pakistan may feel good but will do little to improve Afghanistan’s situation, while the other significant contributory factors are ignored; such as India’s involvement and proxies within Pakistan. All the stakeholders, India, China, US, Pakistan, and Russia must play their role to stabilise the region.

The “regional approach” means the new U.S. administration has come to understand that the Afghan conflict has external dimensions and is not going to be resolved without addressing those factors. Explaining this situation, Defense Secretary James Mattis told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that the regional strategy would be “connected to the geographical reality of where this enemy is fighting from.” The suspension of security assistance to Pakistan may not serve the US’s objectives to stabilize the region given the existing geostrategic alignment of states in South Asia.


3 COMMENTS

  1. Pak has been in exiistence for 70 years now. By its own hard work and the hard work of its rank and file proletariat it has achieved tremendous progress in all fields. the land of five rivers (PUNJ AB) and is hard working kasht- kars have filled the pak granaries with the surplus grains and the govt coffers with surplus cash. Pak has been acceptng gifts by way of friendly aid from its “Langotia ” friends like the fire belching dragon,the polar bear and a fellow called Chacha jaani “Sam”, for just not hurting their egos.. It is about time if we all pakistanis raised our voices and and raised our bowed heads till now in utter reverence to these so called akas – we would be better off in no time. Self respect and the bread and butter and jam and savaris made by our own sweat of our own brow will make us stringer. We should refuse all aid no matter how this consortium of Chacha jaani Sam, the polar bear and the fiery dragon and the imperial highnesses of the oily kingdoms exhort us and beg us to accept their gold and along with that the steel and tin loud crackr firing toys for spewing fire at our jealous neighbours all round. Nahin Janab from now on our MOTA Motu should be ” Nahin , jenab, koi aid vegerah ki koi zarrot nahin hai”
    Nahn Mohtaaj hum ab se apne Chaand Sitarron ke.
    Hum apni imandar and inamdar mehnat se apne rastoon ke ujaale dekhenge”

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