1. The United States had agreed to extend for one year the aid to Pakistan to fight terrorism on the condition that it would stop differentiating between good and bad terror. And the country’s most powerful person, the Army chief of Pakistan Raheel Sharif had extended this promise during his US visit. Yet, many big terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, directly implicated in heinous terror acts in India, are roaming free and are even ‘respectable’ citizens there. We saw the Pakistani government’s attitude that allowed bail to Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, main handler of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, on technical grounds. This is when the US has put a bounty of US$ 10 million on Hafiz Saeed. This is when Masood Azhar, lodged in an Indian jail, was ‘exchanged’ in a hijacking incident. Isn’t Pakistan taking Uncle Sam for a ride?
2. There is no reason for the world community, for us, to think that the US is not aware of it. But apart from putting a reward and occasional back channel assurances, we don’t see any aggressive posturing by the US. Should we go by the explanation that when the US lawmakers demanded Pakistan to stop differentiating between ‘good and bad terror’, it was meant only in the context of Taliban and the AfPak theatre?
3. But can this narrow view of policymaking on terrorism serve the purpose of the US as well as of the Pakistan?
4. Also, can Pakistan ever be trusted to take on the terrorist networks operating to further its agenda in Afghanistan, especially the Haqqani network and the resurgent Taliban factions of Afghanistan that are eyeing greener pastures after the complete withdrawal of the internal coalition forces?
5. Pakistan has been vocally active on India’s role in Afghanistan and its perennial anti-India instance has been one of the major reasons for actively supporting the Afghanistan Taliban. Is this not a naïve thinking of the US policymakers that Pakistan will be able to overcome this anti-India psychosis to help the international forces wipe out the factors that it feels will help in bolstering its position in the internal matters of Afghanistan in the near future?
6. Is the terror discourse in the context of Pakistan is going to be ‘all Taliban and all terrorists active in Afghanistan are bad’ but ‘good terror Vs bad terror’ is also valid, to sustain and maintain the proxy war against India?
7. Hillary Clinton, the then US Secretary of State, had warned Pakistan sternly on its doublespeak on terrorism. Hillary’s blunt message delivered in Islamabad in October 2011 was: “It’s like that old story. You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” That was three years ago yet Pakistan kept a blind eye and is still doing the same, harbouring many snakes while trying to crush only a few. Pakistan just had one of its worst human tragedies with TTP attack on the Army school in Peshawar killing over 130 children. What else will it take for Pakistan to realize what Hillary so clearly warned then, the reality that Pakistan deliberately ignores to realize?
8. Can India expect a positive change in the US attitude on this ‘good terror Vs bad terror discourse in the Indian context’ after the recent improvements in India-US ties with Narendra Modi as the Indian Prime Minister? India and the US have warmed up to each other in real terms with Modi’s successful US visit in September and Barack Obama’s upcoming India visit in January next. What is remarkably positive change for the India-US ties this time is, that the US President is not extending his visit to Pakistan, something that has been a routine in the past.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/