Tranquilized Conscience

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Shamsa Ishfaq

OF late, in an exclusive talk with NewsX, Congressman and Chairman House of Foreign Affairs sub committee on terrorism Mr. Ted Poe has once again demanded that Pakistan be declared as a state “sponsor of terrorism”. Ted Poe, widely known to be the Indian lobbyist in US congress, has repeatedly asked forit in the backdrop of recently found mutilated bodies of two Indian Jawansallegedly by Pakistani army along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector.
He called the act barbaric and said “Mutilation of Indian soldiers is to heightentensions / Pak should be called out for its acts and support of terrorism”. Mr Poealso alleged Pakistan for fomenting trouble in Kashmir through proxies whileurging the United States to get closer to India and leverage it against Islamabad.
He also demanded removal of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally besides cutting on aid money given to her by the US. It does not matter to Pakistan what US congressman has said and demanded but it deems necessary to shake alittle the tranquilized conscience of Ted Poe and many other like-minded individuals in order to serve humanity better and earnestly. First and foremost, making a case against Pakistan declaring her “sponsorof terrorism” would be unjust as she is the only ally that has faced the major bruntin US-led global war against terrorism. This being a fact acknowledged by all the US administrations from Bush regime to Trump as well. For a record only, a US defence Department Spokesman Adam Stump has recently said that the department recognizes the significant sacrifices the Pakistani military has made in the fight against terrorism, and appreciates Pakistan’s continued support for transit of material to coalition forces in Afghanistan. Not only this, the US defence department has authorized the disbursement of $550 million to Pakistan inrecognition of its significant sacrifices made in fighting terrorism.
At this point, aclarification deems necessary that the amount given by US under coalitionsupport fund (CSF) is in fact reimbursement to Pakistan for providing logistic,military and other support to American operations in Afghanistan. So US congressman must not confuse Americans and the world community at large by presenting the CSF as an act of US “generosity” towards Pakistan. To furtherelucidate, the annual report of the State Bank of Pakistan-2016 clearly shows that US’ war on terror has cost Pakistan a whopping $118.3 billion in direct and indirect losses from 2002 to 2016; an amount equivalent to well over one third of its gross domestic product. According to economic survey 2015-16, Pakistan’s economy suffered a total loss of $14.80 billion in two years i.e. 2014-15 and2015-16. In addition to huge economic losses, cross border terrorism in Pakistan has also been responsible for untold human sufferings due to indiscriminate, brutal terrorist attacks against civilian population. Secondly, Pakistan fomenting trouble in Kashmir through proxies is an absolute figment of delusional thinking. There is no denying the fact that Pakistansupports Kashmir’s justified freedom struggle and openly condemns atrocities perpetrated by the Indian security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir. It is also true that Pakistan will continue to support people of Kashmir till they get freedom from Indian shackles. In current time, alleging Pakistan for fomenting trouble in Kashmir is merely an attempt to hide India’s unparalleled examples of brutalitycommitted especially after martyrdom of young Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani.
It is in the wake of cruelties and crimes committed against Kashmiris during 2016at the hands of Indian security forces that the New York Times labeled the year2016 as a “Year of dead eyes” in Kashmir. Moreover, in his recent interview, the former RAW Chief A S Dulat has admitted that current Kashmir situation has gone from bad to worse. Militancy in Kashmir witnessed during 90s is no more there now its the alienation and anger of Kashmiri youth that has gone out of control, which is more scarier. There fore, India needs to talk as it is not subversive, it is not anti-national. In the light of these realities, the bright sparks like Ted Poe direly need to correct their perception.
For, going head over heels with India won’t do any good to him. Pakistan has been fighting for the world peace and stability as a US allyfor more than a decade now. Employment of largest contingent of forces by a single country i.e. Pakistan, enduring great sacrifices in terms of losses of precious lives, resources and infrastructure has no parallels. And hence, by now, there should have been an end to the cavalcade of skeptical rumors and speculative punditry from media across the miles and the US administration but nothing of the sort seems to be happening in future as well.
It is high time to realize that ganging up on Pakistan by responding to the ambitions of regionalassociates is a direction fraught with danger. Not just the US but the world atlarge must stop trivializing Pakistan’s sacrifices besides constantly questioning its sincerity towards the cause of eradicating terrorism.—Email