Stalwart partner



DURING a media briefing on Tuesday, the US State Department Spokesperson stated Pakistan will continue to be a stalwart partner of the United States and vice versa in the fight against terrorism.  The remarks came against the back-drop of the recent Peshawar Police Line terrorist attack that killed over one hundred people, mostly policemen.

The very statement on the part of the US is welcoming and reassuring but mere words or lip service will not help Pakistan to effectively counter the men-ace of terrorism which has recently resurfaced, and that too  very dangerously, threatening the gains made by the country against the terrorists.  Pakistan has paid a heavy price in the war on terrorism both in human and material. The re-cent tragedy in Peshawar was one of the deadliest attacks to hit the city in many years and sent shockwaves amongst the people, who fear the return of dark days of war on terror. If the United States really consider Pakistan as a stalwart partner and recognizes its sacrifices, it will have to review its policy both towards Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Ever since it has left Afghanistan, Washington is penalizing the war torn country through sanctions while Pakistan has also been left alone to deal with the menace. Whilst in recent months, a positive momentum is being seen in relations between Pakistan and the US with the enhancement of engagement level between the two sides at different levels but there has not been any meaningful assistance pouring in. The monster of terrorism has raised its ugly head again at a time when Pakistan is faced with serious economic crisis complicated further by the recent devastating flooding, and in this kind of situation it will be difficult for the country to single-handedly tackle the terrorists.

The country needs both financial resources and security equipment to check the situation spiralling out of control. Helping Pakistan and Afghanistan is vital for peace and stability of not only the region but the world at large.  Washington and other important capitals need to play their role in this regard. It is only through collective efforts this menace of terrorism can be crushed.