While announcing America’s Afghan policy President Trump accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists who he claimed kill American citizens and demanded an end to it. Trump’s policy also provided India a role in Afghanistan. Tying up Afghanistan with America’s South Asia policy has already deepened regional tensions. The claim by the Trump administration regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through a disputed territory was an endorsement of India’s claim. It was ignored that the work on 1,300KM long KKH started in 1966 and the road was opened to public traffic in 1986. The claim can only add to frictions between Pakistan and the US.
Before the arrival of Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis Pakistan has made it clear how far it is going to accommodate the Trump administration and where a red line begins. Denying the presence of terrorist sanctuaries anywhere in Pakistan, both Prime Minister Abbasi and Foreign Minister Asif have shown willingness to address whatever concerns the US has in this respect. Asif has gone a step further by offering the US joint operations against any possible safe haven of the Haqqani network in Pakistan. According to Asif, COAS Bajwa had made the same offer to President Ashraf Ghani during his recent visit to Kabul. On Monday the COAS again expressed his resolve to make Pakistan a terror-free country. In this age of space tracking and surveillance system (STSS), it should not be difficult to verify Pakistan’s claim. Pakistan is rightly unwilling to accept India as a party in the resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan or a factor in Pak-US relations.
Those who matter in Pakistan have continued too long to stick to a policy of cherry-picking among the terrorist networks. What Pakistan called sacrifices in the war on terror were considered by the international community the price Pakistan had to pay for its policy of patronising terrorists. Pakistan needs urgently to get rid of whatever terrorist groups and banned networks still continue to function in the country under different names. Deeds will then speak better than claims.