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‘Our pandering has allowed Pakistan to set the region on fire’: USA expert calls for end to the ‘toxic relationship’ with Pakistan

Herman noted the USA should immediately stop sales of military equipment and all economic assistance to Pakistan, and should even induce other allies like Britain and Saudi Arabia to do the same.

The role of Pakistan in harbouring the terrorists of the Taliban while pretending to be the ally of the USA against the war on terrorism seems to be getting a lot of attention among American analysts and experts lately. What was known to India for decades is slowly being clear to the West too.

In a strongly-worded article in The Hill, US expert and author Arthur Herman, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, has written that it is time (for the USA) to pull the plug on the toxic relationship with Pakistan.

Arthur Herman’s article in The Hill

In the article, Herman has written, “For more than 3 decades, USA’s supposed ally in South Asia has systematically lied and manipulated successive American administrations, both Republican and Democratic, in a way that has made the world less safe. Since 2002, Pakistan has received more than 33 billion USD in assistance, including over 14 billion USD to combat terrorism, while doing the exact opposite.”

The article further says, “It is time for our policymakers, past and present, to explain why we continue to provide assistance to a country that cozies up to our enemies, has proliferated nuclear technology to some of the worst governments on earth, and has betrayed our friendship time and again.”

Pakistan helped North Korea to get nuclear weapons

The article says that Pakistan violated commitments to the USA in the 1980s to not build nuclear weapons. Then it went ahead and armed North Korea secretly via the AQ Khan network. Had the USA not intervened, the same network would have armed Iraq and Libya too, wrote Herman.

Pakistan gave safe haven Laden, helped Haqqani Network and Taliban to flourish

While the USA was engaged in a war with the Taliban and Al Qaeda after the 2001 WTC attacks, Pakistan had been hiding the USA’s most wanted man Osama Bin Laden inside their own country. Herman further wrote that while pretending to be a US ally, Pakistan has been aiding, arming and helping the Taliban, Haqqani Network and other terror organisations.

Even as US and NATO troops kept fighting and dying in their war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Pakistan’s military and intelligence service continuously kept working with those same terror groups, Herman noted.

Herman even mentioned how the ISI chief had recently travelled to Kabul, to ‘bless’ the Taliban government after their takeover of Afghanistan

Pakistan’s intimate ties with china

Herman noted that over the years, Pakistan has become a ‘Chinese client state’. With the CPEC, military cooperation and other bilateral developments, Pakistan has effectively become a vassal state for China, as noted by many experts on Asia. Herman noted that these are not the actions of an ally and the USA should immediately stop sales of military equipment and all economic assistance to Pakistan, and should even induce other allies like Britain and Saudi Arabia to do the same.

For its continued support to terrorist groups, Pakistan should be put on the FATF black list too, Herman stated.

No need to be blackmailed by nuclear weapons

Herman noted that over the years, Pakistan has been negotiating with global powers with a wild card, its nuclear arsenal. There have been strong concerns that playing tough with Pakistan may trigger it to “go rogue” and possibly supply nuclear weapons to rogue dictatorships and terrorist organisations.

Herman asserted that the fears and apprehensions have not stopped Pakistan from going “rogue” anyway. Pakistan has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. And it has already found clandestine ways to supply nuclear technology to nations like North Korea and Iran.

Herman argues that the US leadership should take assertive steps to put an end to the ‘toxic relationship’ with Pakistan and thwart its blackmailing tactics. As pointed out by John Bolton in a recent Washington Post article, Pakistan has both arsonists and firefighters in its government and the USA should work to put the arsonists permanently out of business.

Herman has stated that the USA’s pandering has allowed Pakistan to help set the rest of the region on fire.

Pakistan’s support to Taliban

For the 20 years that the USA kept fighting the Taliban radicals, Pakistan has been a safe haven and a support base for the terrorists. Many US soldiers have voiced that while they continued to chase Taliban fighters, they managed to escape by going to Pakistan. Pakistan not only provided tactical support, aid and shelter to the Taliban, it also kept fooling the USA, pretending to be their ally in the war against terrorism.

Pakistan’s role in providing support to terrorists has been highlighted time and again by India on the UN and most other international forums. Pakistan allows Islamic terrorists to use its soil as a training base and launchpad for sending terrorists into India. Global designated terrorists roam openly in Pakistan, run charity organisations and religious radicalisation centres, while the whole world pretends to look the other way.

For over two decades, Pakistan provided safe havens to Taliban leaders to cool their heels and organise their resistance. Wanted Talibani leaders and commanders moved around Pakistan without any restrictions.

When the US-led forces invaded Afghanistan, the Talibani leaders, as well as the top Al Qaeda commanders, bolted for their safe hideouts in Pakistan. For over two decades, Pakistan provided safe havens to Taliban leaders to cool their heels and organise their resistance. Wanted Talibani leaders and commanders moved around Pakistan without any restrictions.

Recently, US defence analyst Sarah Chayes in an interview with CNN explained how Pakistan’s ISI ran a sophisticated campaign for reinstalling the Taliban in power. When asked if the Taliban had cleverly utilised the 20 years time to build its capability and stake its claim to power, Chayes said it wasn’t the terror group but Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI that used its resources cleverly to help topple the US-backed Ashraf Ghani government in Afghanistan.

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