A New Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties


Article Source: Can US President take Hudson Institute report on Pakistan seriously?


A briefing paper on Pakistan was issued to much media hype in February 2017 by Hudson Institute titled “A New Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties.” It advised Trump administration on how to deal with Pakistan.

Report authors list among them foremost Hussain Haqqani and Lisa Curtis. Among signatories, Christine Fair, Polly Nayak and Aparna Pande ring alarm bells. Haqqani is known to carry a grudge against Pakistan Army. USA should frame its Pakistan policy be based on a paper produced by remote group of known Pakistani haters?

US succeeded in containing Soviet expansion in South Asia while Pakistan paid a heavy price in shape of Soviet military, political and diplomatic support to India. Much of terror related incidents today can be traced to fateful decision by Pakistan to join US as an ally in 1980s.

Pakistan Army began a series of systematic military operation against Taliban in its soil, first ousting them from Swat by launching Operation Rah e Rast. Operation Rah e Nijat threw them out of SWA and finally, Zarb e Azb has cleared final Taliban sanctuary in FATA.

Taliban along with TTP thug Mullah Fazlullah now operate with impunity from Afghanistan and carry out terror raids in Pakistan—ISAF in meanwhile pleads inability to oust them.

USA and western powers must provide wholehearted support to Pakistan—a biased and one-sided brief prepared by Haqqani and Lisa Curtis would eventually harm US interests and world peace.

One of major fault lines of briefing paper is its blind acceptance of Indian version of cross-border terrorism between India and Pakistan. Farcical Indian claims of a strategic strike within Pakistan have few takers even in India, thus exposing litany of untruths country generates to defame Pakistan and hide their own failures and shortcomings.

While Indian script on cross-border terror is gulped hook line and sinker by Haqqani brief, Pakistan charges about involvement of Indian RAW are ignored. India is as much responsible for Pakistan’s failure to prosecute Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar.

Current danger in Pakistan is from lack of internal cohesion and insurgency within that is supported by its neighbors in east (India) and the west (Afghanistan). Browbeating and insulting Pakistan as Haqqani recommends will not do the job. For Haqqani and for Lisa Curtis, blindly accepting Indian version when skeptics in India doubt official version of their govt is sad.

One would have imagined US has learned lesson after relying on types of Ahmed Chalabi whose glib lies led to disastrous Iraqi invasion. Haqqani is Iraqi Chalabi equivalent. US should be careful it does not fall into trap laid down by Pakistani Chalabi.

While maintaining a friendly relationship with USA is desirable, Pakistan cannot be coerced into becoming an unwilling ally of 9/11 variety. It is a time USA accept reality and avoid actions that would hurt its power and image further.