Pakistan has been playing this game of duplicity for several years now. On the one hand, the country proclaims to side with those fighting against terrorism and thereby amasses the maximum benefits for itself. On the other, it uses the very same benefits to help terrorists and thus fosters terrorism.
Pakistan’s downright duplicity is being deplored all over the world, and US President Donald shared this sentiment in his first tweet this year: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
President Trump was reiterating in strong words what India, Afghanistan, Iran and even the United States have kept saying about Pakistan’s deceitfulness. Following his blistering remarks, Trump blocked the $25.5-crore (about 1,658 crore Indian rupees) military aid that was to be given to Pakistan this year. As usual, China has sided with Pakistan.
After the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, the US has been giving large-scale assistance to Pakistan meant for anti-terrorist activities. In its fight against the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the US needed Pakistan’s geographical and strategic help. Pakistan exploited this situation to get the maximum financial aid from the US, which it used to foster terrorism. Attacks by Pakistan-based terror outfits have increased significantly since 2001, especially attacks against India.
Anne Patterson, who was the US ambassador to Pakistan in 2007-2009, had, in a secret report, recommended that the US administration stop the huge aid being given to Pakistan. India, on its part, had earlier officially informed the US that Pakistan was using the US dollars against India and that the money was reaching the terrorists. In December 2017, India had brought up in the United Nations the subject of Pakistan allowing terrorist outfits to be based on its soil.
The US had, two months ago, handed over to Pakistan a list of 20 Pak-based terrorist organisations fighting against India and Afghanistan. This list included Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Harkat-ul-Mujahieen. Pervez Musharraf, former president and former military chief of Pakistan, revealed in 2010 that the Pakistan military had given training to terrorists to conduct attacks in Kashmir against India. Musharraf had also stated that Pakistan had no merit at the global level and that worldwide views on Pakistan were formed in accordance with India’s stand.
Despite having a lawful system of governance in place, Pakistan is the country that promotes terrorism most. The best example for this is Pakistan letting loose Hafiz Saeed—mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack and on whose head the US has placed a price of $1 crore (65 crore Indian rupees)—to go about freely with his vitriolic invectives. Saeed has now been freed after having been under nominal house arrest for some time.
The other day, Pakistan put Palestine in a fix by making the Palestine envoy to Islamabad share a stage with Hafiz Saeed. As a result of India’s strong condemnation of the incident, Palestine recalled its envoy in Islamabad and asserted that it stood firmly with India in the battle against terrorism.
Donald Trump has exposed the two-facedness of Pakistan and has acted firmly to put an end to it. Will Pakistan, even at this juncture, realise that the duty and mission of a government is to root out terrorists and not facilitate its soil to be their base?
This article was originally published in the editorial page of Malayala Manorama.