Need to improve relations
There is a clear division between Pakistan and its traditional ally the US over the issue of terrorists. This became amply clear when Mullah Mansour was killed in a drone strike in Balochistan. Pakistan protested against the attack, calling it a violation of the country’s sovereignty. It was revealed that President Obama had personally approved the drone strike and that it may not be the last one. State Department Spokesmen Mark Toner later made it clear that any Taliban involved in attacks on US and allied troops in Afghanistan will face a similar fate. He reiterated that terrorists still find safe havens on Pakistan’s territory and there is a need to root them out.
The commonality of views over the issue between the US and India finds place in the joint statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi. While vowing to stand together against terrorism and extremism the two leaders condemned terrorist incidents from Paris to Pathankot, calling them a threat posed to human civilisation. The two leaders vowed to bring to justice the ‘perpetrators of terrorism anywhere in the world and the infrastructure that supports them’. The statement particularly names ‘Jaish-e Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D-Company and their affiliates’ among others. Hopefully those who make security policy will realise the grim implications of the statement. As if this was not enough, Obama and Modi jointly called for Pakistan ‘to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice’.
It is time Pakistan reviews its policy towards its so called assets. It is in the interests of the people of Pakistan to put an end to the killings of innocent civilians and servicemen by terrorist networks operating from areas along the Durand Line. The Afghan government lacks the capacity to perform the job alone. What is needed is a synchronized, joint operation by Pakistan, Afghanistan and the remainder of the US-led troops. A joint military action that eradicates the threat would bring Afghanistan and Pakistan closer and improve relations with the US.