US raises ante

PAKISTAN has condemned a drone strike in Kurram Agency carried out by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) Wednesday morning, which targeted an Afghan refugee camp. In a statement, Foreign Office spokesman pointed out that Pakistan has continued to emphasize to the US the importance of sharing actionable intelligence so that appropriate action is taken against terrorists by our forces within our territory.
The United States has persisted with its drone strikes within Pakistan with varied frequency and intervals but the latest one is particularly regrettable as it has several connotations. The attack has come at a time when the United States and Pakistan are engaged in both formal and track-II diplomacy to sort out their differences on how to proceed ahead with their cooperation in the on-going war on terror. This clearly showed that Washington was not serious and sincere in resolution of the differences through dialogue and wants to increase pressure on Islamabad to make it bow before its undue demands. This is a message that the United States would use all the leverages at its disposal to browbeat and pressurize Pakistan that has long been even more than the United States on counter-terrorism front. The attack also leaves a very pertinent question for our policy and decision makers to ponder over – if the United States is not willing to share intelligence then what is justification for Pakistan to share intelligence with RSM in Afghanistan. The target of the drone strike also speaks volumes about genuineness of the point repeatedly raised by Pakistan that until and unless cooperation is extended for repatriation of three million Afghan refugees to their homeland, there can be no guarantee of use of Pakistani soil by terrorists hiding among the refugee population. Pakistan is not emphasizing the point for the sake of gaining time but on the basis of confirmed reports that some of the refugees are engaged in negative activities. Therefore, there should be meaningful discussions on modus operandi of their return and settlement in Afghanistan. As for the drone strike, it would serve no purpose except inflaming feelings in the country.

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