US acknowledgement

AT a time when a pro-India Congressman has revived his campaign to get Pakistan designated as ‘state sponsor of terrorism’, Commander of the US Central Command General Joseph Votel, in a testimony before a congressional panel, has acknowledged that Pakistan has done things against the Haqqani network that have been helpful to the war against terror. The General, who is responsible for implementing the US military strategy in the Pak-Afghan region, described Pakistan as a key and critical partner and emphasized the need to stay engaged with Islamabad in the counter-terrorism fight.
This is in sharp contrast to the persistent propaganda campaign by some vested interests that have been blaming Pakistan of selective approach in addressing the issue of terrorism. The positive change in American thinking and assessment comes in the wake of visit of the Commander of the Resolute Support Mission and US forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson to the North Waziristan (along with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa) — an area dubbed by many as epicentre of terrorism – to see for himself the result and effects of the indiscriminate action by Pakistan Army against all sorts of terrorists and criminals. This is a welcome development and augurs well for continued cooperation between the two countries in different fields especially in the crucial area of counter-terrorism. There were apprehensions by some circles about change of policy following some of the statements that emanated during American presidential election campaign but it seems our military leadership has been successful in promoting the country’s security interests. However, we would urge that this positive change should not be left at that and Pentagon, White House and the State Department should be convinced to restore and increase counter-terrorism assistance for Pakistan and also immediately release all pending payments under CSF. This requires intensified efforts on the part of the political leadership and our Foreign Office to counter malicious campaign of the likes of Ted Poe and Danarwahrabi, who previously made an attempt to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state through a petition, which miserably failed, and now again are trying to malign Pakistan.

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