WASHINGTON The United States needs to support Pakistan to fight terrorism and preserve its fledgling democracy as Washington needs Pakistan’s support to enfledgeling the sacrifices rendered by the American people achieve the goal of peace and prosperity that extends to the United States.
A report in the online news magazine, *International Policy Digest*, referred to the devastating terrorist attacks that targeted political rallies, a government convoy and an election office during the Pakistan elections and claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.
“To say that Pakistan is not at the front lines of the fight against violent extremism is patently absurd. But this is the position of some in Washington who would deny Pakistan the tools it needs, in terms of military hardware, financial support, and political encouragement, to bring terrorists to heel,” says the author of the report, who recently visited the Pakistan embassy and met Ambassador Ali Siddiqui.
“With former cricket great Imran Khan claiming victory in Pakistan’s second democratic transition in Pakistan’s 71-year history, Pakistan is set on a new trajectory with a new prime minister promising changes in a country that has been marred by corruption and violence.”
The report said that it is both sad and counterproductive for the US to cut-off billions in aid to Pakistan, which is critical to the success of the US’ own fight against terrorism.
Ambassador Siddiqui told the magazine that the future of Pakistan was linked to quelling the threat of terrorism and in meetings with US officials, he would underline the grave problems that Pakistan is facing in the fight against terrorism and its seriousness to wipe out this menace, which is also a threat to global peace.
The magazine quoted Ambassador Siddiqui as saying that improving the US-Pakistan security relations was his number one priority as Ambassador.
Ambassador Siddiqui said that terrorism was posing threat to Pakistan’s ability to grow economically and thrive democratically.
The report said that the US itself has a deep interest in helping Pakistan fight the menace of terrorism and extremism as the country shares a long border with Afghanistan where American troops are fighting terrorists for 17 years, and where terrorists who attack Americans and other innocents abroad had taken refuge.
“The U.S. has lost more than 2,000 lives and spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan, and we need Pakistan’s access, influence, and firepower to destroy terrorist havens and bring the Taliban to heel,” the report added.
The report highlighted that since 9/11, the US-Pakistan collaboration played a critical role in dismantling al-Qaeda and led to arrest and killing of many terrorists. The cooperation between the two countries also resulted in seizure of more than 200 tons of IED explosives, which has claimed the heavies toll on international forces in Afghanistan.
But, Pakistan had to pay a heavy price for achieving these successes and more than 60,000 of its people were killed in terrorist attacks and the country’s economy suffered accumulative losses of $120 billion.
“So it is both sad and counterproductive for the U.S. to cut off more than a billion dollars in aid and hundreds of millions of dollars in reimbursements to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), a US programme for costs incurred in supporting counter-terrorist operations.”
Referring to President Trump’s statements against Pakistan and the subsequent snapping of all security aid, the report said that Pakistani people must feel “abandoned, their sacrifices in vain”.
“The problem is that we need the Pakistani people. We need them to defend their fledgling democracy and reject the appeals of extremists. We need Pakistanis to participate in anti-terrorism community partnerships which are critical in a fight against non-state actors capable of hiding in the wide open,”he said.