United States urge more pressure, punitive action against Pakistan to resolve Afghanistan issue

Last Updated: Sep 14 2018 17:30

A top United States think tank recommended publicly naming Pakistan-based terrorists and their groups to shame their host and the release of intelligence on their location as part of measures to be adopted if the Trump administration wants to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) further suggests stripping Pakistan of its status as a non-NATO ally of the US, which comes with significant military benefits, and even declaring it a terrorist state, an old demand.

“If Washington is serious about ending the war in Afghanistan, including through a peace settlement, it needs to put significant pressure on the Taliban and Haqqani Network in Pakistan, not just in Afghanistan,” Seth G Jones, a former defence department official who served in Afghanistan and now heads the Transnational Threats Project at CSIS, writes.

Mentioning interviews with a Western government official, Jones argues “the Pakistan government, especially the ISI, has provided several types of assistance. It has given money, intelligence and strategic guidance to the Taliban and Haqqani Network and has helped provide medical care for Taliban fighters.”

“The US needs to re-think its strategy toward Pakistan,” Jones writes, and recommends a set of punitive measures on an “escalatory ladder”.

“Provide more public transparency about Pakistan activities,” he argues. Name the Taliban and Haqqani leaders living in Pakistan and declassify “intelligence including satellite imagery – of Taliban locations in Pakistan”.

Jones also recommends declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism. “After all, US and other Western intelligence agencies have collected an abundance of information about Pakistan ties to terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan and India, from Lashkar-e-Taiba (or Jamaat-ud-Dawah) to the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.”