In his latest warning to Pakistan, US President Donald Trump used the term ‘safe haven for terrorists’ for Pakistan again while delivering his much awaited Afghanistan policy review which sought to increase Indian role while slammed Pakistan for its double-dealings. Pakistan has been claiming and accepting US grants for its role in the US aid in war against terror while at the same time, it has been sheltering terror groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani Network that attack American interests in Afghanistan.
Before this, we can identify at least seven clear warning signals sent by the Trump administration to Pakistan on its duplicity on terror. These are signs of rapid deterioration of Pakistan’s credibility in the Washington.
HIZBUL MUJAHIDEEN DECLARES A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION: Last week, the US Department of State declared Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir based terror group Hizbul Mujahideen, that is known for fomenting terror in Jammu & Kashmir, a foreign terrorist organization aimed at scuttling its resources.
US COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM TERMS PAKISTAN A SAFE HAVEN FOR TERRORISTS: Then in July, the world’s only superpower termed Pakistan a safe haven for India centric terror groups. The Country Report on Terrorism 2017 (for the year 2016) says, “The Pakistan government supported political reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban, but failed to take significant action to constrain the ability of the Afghan Taliban and HQN to operate from Pakistan-based safe havens and threaten U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.”
And it then goes on to do the course-correction that was long overdue by writing specifically against the major India centric terror groups like LeT and JeM and holding Pakistan accountable for not doing enough, “The government did not take any significant action against LeT or JeM, other than implementing an ongoing ban against media coverage of their activities. LeT and JeM continued to hold rallies, raise money, recruit, and train in Pakistan.”
SYED SALAHUDDIN DESIGNATED GLOBAL TERRORIST: In June, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit and his first Summit with US President Donald Trump, the US designated Syed Salahuddin, the Hizbul chief, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
MODI-TRUMP JOINT STATEMENT SAYS PAKISTAN A TERROR HAVEN: The Modi-Trump joint statement that followed the Summit was equally harsh on Pakistan. It directly called Pakistan a terror haven and asked it to ensure that “its territory isn’t used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries.”
TAJK BANNED BY PAKISTAN: On June 8, in a move that didn’t attract much attention, Pakistan was forced to ban Tehreek-e-Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir (TAJK), the new terror front of Hafiz Saeed after Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)’s Hafiz Saeed was put under house arrest in January.
US PROPOSAL IN THE UN TO BAN MASOOD AZHAR: In its first clear signs of its pro-India bent, the Trump Administration tabled a proposal in the United Nations Security Council on February 8 to designate Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist. The proposal was finalized after discussion between India and the US and had support of the UK and France. This proposal, too, was blocked by China like its earlier moves to protect Masood Azhar at the UN.
HAFIZ SAEED UNDER HOUSE ARREST: Under increasing US pressure, Pakistan had to put Hafiz Saeed under house arrest on January 30 otherwise Hafiz Saeed was roaming freely in Pakistan spewing venom against India in spite of US bounty $10 Million over his head. The move came after the US warning that Pakistan could be added to the list of the banned countries on the US immigration list. Donald Trump had come up with his first travel ban list during those days which sought to ban immigrants from seven Muslim majority nations and Reince Priebus, then White House Chief of Staff, had said that countries like Pakistan that were ‘having problems similar to those seven nations’, could be added to the list in future.