The United States of America has once again called Pakistan out for its well-known sympathy for terror. The US had told Pakistan that it “must do more” against terror groups such as the Taliban. Failing to prevent cross-border attacks could lead to the Trump administration taking “unilateral measures”, it was said post the meeting between the US Vice President Mike Pence and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (as reported by a Pakistani daily, Dawn).
The American officials quite clearly demanded immediate action from the Pakistani government and “not just word on the Taliban and Haqqani sanctuaries”. Yet that did not stop certain media houses from unfairly criticising the American demands. The Quint, for example, said in big, bold and prominent letters:
“The (US) official did not give any indication of the kind of actions the US was contemplating against Pakistan, given its frustration for them not taking action against terrorist groups.”
As it may already be apparent, this is an incorrect inference to draw. The official was very categorical and clear while telling the Pakistani government what the USA expected. Thus, let us remind them of what was said at the conference:
“We continue to make very specific requests. We want to end cross-border terrorism..” (followed by a citation of the recent high-profile attacks in Kabul by terrorists from across the border in Pakistan).
If that was not a clear enough “indication of the kind of actions”, let us state more. The American official also said :
“We believe that the release of Hafeez Saeed in November was a step in the wrong direction”. And if getting Hafeez Saeed in jail, is not an “indication of what kind of action” must be taken, I do not know what is.
Speaking of Hafeez Saeed, it is slightly ironic that ‘The Quint’ was the least defined of media sources when talking about the atrocious murders by this man and his group. Their words were :
“Lashkar-e-Taiba (“Army of the Pure” or LeT), a group Saeed founded in 1987 and which Washington and India blame for the 2008 attacks”.
Wait. Let that sink in.
Yes, ‘The Quint’ did not even take the whole world’s narrative and decided to call it a “blame”, that was only set by “Washington and India”. Shocking manners of downplaying, we see coming from our ‘non-partisan media house’. But anyway, hope they find these statements, to suffice an “indication of the kind of actions the US was contemplating against Pakistan”.
Besides, this was not the first time Pakistan was confronted on the issue terrorism. The President of the United States, Donald Trump had announced his South Asia Policy during August last year. The spirit of that policy was critical of Pakistan for sheltering terror groups and “carrying out attacks in Afghanistan”. Yet, no response was seen on the policy, which was picked up on this occasion by the American officials.
There were many other times when Pakistan had been pulled up on the account of defending terrorism, followed by its cross-border violence. Donald Trump himself had tweeted:
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. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
The Pakistani citizens reportedly responded by burning American flags and Trump’s photos. However, the response at a higher level was not very different, followed by a rather bombastic response by Khawaja M. Asif, “history teaches us not to blindly trust the US… (we) will not compromise our dignity anymore”. This rather upset response was perhaps reflective of the deteriorating relations between Pakistan and the States, even at a diplomatic level. Either way, as it was put on Friday, “the ball is in Islamabad’s court” to take action.
As Indians, we see other nations recognising our diplomatic efforts to take Pakistan on, for its complacency and funding of terrorist activities across the border too. While the onus is on Pakistan to deliver its basic responsibility to step away from terrorism, matters appear positive due to global pressure mounting up on our neighbours’ atrocious actions.
In the meantime, I plead such media houses to stand for national interest. If standing up for the nation is so difficult, they can at least stand up for truth. However, we shouldn’t hold our breath considering this is not the first time ‘The Quint’ has peddled the Pakistani side of the story and indulged in blatant anti-India propaganda. In 2017, a Quint journalist was booked for abetting the suicide of Lance Naik Roy Matthew. In fact, their pussyfooting on Hafeez Saeed is not surprising, considering they had published an entire piece about Osama Bin Laden being a father and a husband. The Quint had also come up with a story that basically declared Kulbhushan Jadhav an ‘Indian spy’ thereby endangering his life and national security. We had rebutted that story threadbare and post massive backlash, The Quint had taken the story down and decided to “recheck its story“, but not before Pakistanis and its official agencies had started quoting The Quint article on Jadhav in an attempt to undermine India’s position.
And that truth screams: Pakistani soldiers have murdered our innocent children from across the border. Pakistani groups have created mischief in India to harm the lives of its citizens. Pakistani organisations have catalysed bombings and murders in its neighbouring countries. While the world stands against their position, certain forums have given this terror state feeble excuses to hide behind, and exemptions to justify their silence on sheer disregard for human lives.