Islamabad’s support of terrorist and extremist groups is no longer a hidden agenda. Pakistan’s name is tied to the term of state-sponsorship of terrorism in one way or another, and the country has continued throughout its history to use terror groups as proxy forces against its neighbors to achieve its malign interests and ends. Afghanistan and India are the main victims of Pakistan-based terror groups. The culprits of any disruptive and terror activities in the two countries are in some way linked to Pakistan, a country that has long backed, trained and bankrolled terror groups, but is yet to face serious international pressure. Recently, a US senator has launched a serious anti-Pakistan campaign, and also introduced a bill in US Congress to label Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. Hailing from Taxes, Senator Ted Poe, who is also the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, has called on the Trump administration to determine whether or not Pakistan is state sponsor of terrorism. Islamabad has maintained cozy ties with terrorists to hold sway over its dissidents in Afghanistan and India, the lawmaker said, stressing that the country is still harboring many terror groups such as the Taliban, the Haqqani Network and Al-Qaeda. Since terrorism is a common threat, the war on terror also requires joint efforts. As long as terrorism is used as a tool to protect interests by whichever nation or party, the menace of this phenomenon cannot be eliminated. Inasmuch as extremist groups enjoy support and safe havens in countries, it is naïve to expect that the war on terror will be won. Trump’s election as president is an opportunity for the United States to shift its policy against Pakistan.
If Washington continues to maintain ties with Islamabad as usual and without bringing any pressure, the suspicions of the intentions of the superpower with regard to the war on terror will further ratchet up.
Thus, the Trump administration should firmly and decisively move against Pakistan to compel it to give up supporting terrorist and extremist groups.
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