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Does it make sense for the Trump administration and Congress to try to bludgeon Pakistan into doing Washington’s bidding? What about the ultimate sanction of labelling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism? I don’t think so, but my side of the argument is losing ground. And if there is another major terrorist act in India or the United States that can be traced back to Pakistan, this debate could well be over.

The “squeeze Pakistan” camp is on the rise in Washington. There are three major complaints, all of which have plentiful justification. The first is Pakistan’s continued collusion with the Afghan Taliban, which has taken the lives of US soldiers while taking aim at the government in Kabul. The second is harbouring anti-India groups that carry out violent acts against targets in India and Afghanistan. The third is the pace and scope of its nuclear weapon-related programs, characterised by a former senior official at the National Security Council staff and the Pentagon as the fastest growing arsenal in the world.

Pakistan has paid heavily for these choices, which are made in Rawalpindi and not Islamabad. Its international standing has plummeted while India’s has risen. Its ties with Washington have frayed badly while US ties have shifted markedly toward India. Pakistan’s economic growth has underperformed its natural potential, and foreign direct investment (with the exception of China) has dwindled. Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring states have deteriorated, and its diplomacy has been shackled by talking points that lost persuasiveness many years ago.

In addition, the Congress began to impose new penalties by cutting down on the Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan and refusing to provide financing assistance for the sale of additional F-16 aircrafts. More needs to be done, according to a report by the Hudson Institute and the Heritage Foundation, co-authored by Husain Haqqani and Lisa Curtis, who argue:

The “squeeze Pakistan” camp is on the rise in Washington. There are three major complaints, all of which have plentiful justification.

“[T]he objective of the Trump administration’s policy toward Pakistan must be to make it more and more costly for Pakistani leaders to employ a strategy of supporting terrorist proxies to achieve regional strategic goals. There should be no ambiguity that the US considers Pakistan’s strategy of supporting terrorist proxies to achieve regional strategic advantage as a threat to US interests.”

As for the ultimate US sanction, Husain, Lisa, and their co-signatories conclude that, “Designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, as some US congressional members have advised, is unwise in the first year of a new administration, but should be kept as an option for the longer term.” The “longer term” of the Trump administration isn’t that long.

House Foreign Affairs Committee hearings have become notable for Pakistan bashing. One of the Committee’s senior Republicans, Ted Poe, provided opening remarks at an event sponsored by hard-right-leaning American Foreign Policy Council. The meeting’s topic: “The Appalling ‘Ally’: Has Congress Lost Patience with Pakistan?”

My beef isn’t with critiques of Pakistan’s behaviour. Clarifying the negative consequences of Rawalpindi’s choices is essential, but the impulse to isolate, stigmatise and punish Pakistan won’t produce the outcomes that are best for Pakistan, India and the US. Among the losers will be those inside Pakistan who seek changes in national security policies. Worse, labelling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism would be a profoundly unwise move. The leverage this threat provides would be lost with its execution, along with the potential for remedial steps. The terrorism issue, as important as it is, is less consequential than the nuclear issue.

The Hudson/Heritage report and the anti-Pakistan caucus on Capitol Hill reflect a broader trend: the impulse to punish has grown, diminishing space for diplomatic initiatives. The tough talkers forget about walking softly; they just brandish the big stick, even at the cost of substantive engagement – and even when their approach does not change the fundamentals of civil-military relations in Pakistan nor dampen growing nuclear dangers.

Clarifying the negative consequences of Rawalpindi’s choices is essential, but the impulse to isolate, stifgmatise and punish Pakistan won’t produce the outcomes that are best for Pakistan, India and the US.

Full disclosure: I, too, have advocated clarifying penalties for Rawalpindi’s choices, recognising that private demarches haven’t worked. But neither will public witch trials. Herein lies the dilemma of US diplomacy – and for all those who wish to preserve and improve ties with Pakistan. Washington will lose more influence over Rawalpindi’s choices than it will gain by wielding big sticks and raising the “state sponsor of terrorism” threat like the sword of Damocles.

And yet, carrots don’t work, either.

There is evidence of learning and change in some areas of Pakistan’s national security – but not in others. Rawalpindi’s thinking has clearly changed with regard to taking on former proxies, albeit selectively. A new counter-terrorism campaign, Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, has begun which widens the net, most notably in the Punjab. As with previous campaigns, this one was forced by painful embarrassment and loss of life due to weak implementation of prior commitments to fight extremism.

Pakistan’s political and military leaders are now riding a wobbly bicycle. They can either continue to move forward or fall behind. Falling behind means failing to succeed in tackling Pakistan’s internal security and image problems – and quite possibly inviting another near-war scenario with India – if not worse. If Pakistan’s military and political leaders continue to refrain from tackling men like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, their nation will remain stigmatised. Even so, continued engagement in this domain is required, not righteous indignation, excoriation and banishment. The rate of positive change depends on internal decisions that are, in turn, shaped by external pressures. External pressures work best when they don’t demand kow-towing to Washington.

Relations between Pakistan and India, as well as between Pakistan and Afghanistan, are volatile, as is evidenced by raids and firing across unsettled borders. A major crisis between India and Pakistan could well occur during Trump's administration. The US is obliged to function as an effective crisis manager, which won’t happen by shunning Pakistan. How do those leading the charge to squeeze Pakistan propose to proceed with crisis management and war prevention?

Washington’s ability to change Pakistan’s national security policies toward Afghanistan, India and nuclear weapons is limited.

Pakistan’s military leaders are making truly bad decisions with respect to nuclear weapons. They are investing heavily in warheads and missiles of last resort while trusting that deterrence will succeed so that they will not have to use these weapons first in a war triggered by incompetence or collusion with anti-India extremists based in Pakistan.

Under these circumstances, Pakistan’s first use of nuclear weapons on a battlefield – after seven decades of non-use – will establish its pariah status beyond recall. Pakistan looses either way: by believing that deterrence requires a nuclear competition with India, or by believing that a breakdown in deterrence can be solved by nuclear weapons’ use.

A recalibration of defense expenditures – between nuclear weapons that Pakistan’s leaders dare not use and conventional weapons that are Pakistan’s first line of internal and national defence – can only be made in Rawalpindi. There’s no telling how long it will take for Pakistan’s military leaders to figure this out, but by trying to isolate Pakistan, Washington will only reinforce the mistaken value Rawalpindi places on nuclear weapons.

As for Afghanistan, the convergence of US and Pakistan interests does not appear to extend beyond generalities, like the need for a political settlement. Such nostrums break down where the rubber meets the road – over the composition of a coalition government in Kabul, the contest for influence between Pakistan and India, and the actions of the Afghan Taliban, which Rawalpindi may again discover are beyond its ability to control.

The missteps of both Pakistan and the US in Afghanistan are already legion, the result of pipe dreams interrupted by harsh realities. One of those pipe dreams is the belief that Pakistan can be muscled into subordinating its perceived interests in Afghanistan to those of the US. More convergence is possible if Rawalpindi can rethink its Afghan strategy, but this heavy lift – as with trying to change Pakistan’s open-ended embrace of nuclear weapons and its anti-India policy – won’t occur by wielding a big stick.

Demanding fundamental change in Pakistan’s approach to Afghanistan ignores the following logic chain: first, Pakistan is more strongly committed to its policies in Afghanistan, however mistaken, than is the US; second, the future of Pakistan is more important to the US than the future of Afghanistan. Therefore, to sacrifice the former for the latter, as some Pakistan squeezers and bashers demand, is folly.

So, where does this leave US-Pakistan relations? In a bad place. Washington’s ability to change Pakistan’s national security policies toward Afghanistan, India and nuclear weapons is limited. Carrots and sticks work only at the margins. Pakistan can expect more penalties unless its national security policies change in some respects. Change for the better will come only if Rawalpindi changes course.

In the meantime, Washington’s priorities are to stay engaged, clarify the consequences of Pakistan’s present course, work on reducing nuclear dangers during this period of intensified competition, and prepare for crisis management.

The writer is co-founder of the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C based policy research centre.

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Comments (57) Closed

Oracal Mar 11, 2017 12:14pm

Pakistan must understand, what you sow you will reap its fruit.

Paksitani Mar 11, 2017 12:56pm

Why all the Americans are speaking Indians language. USA cannot maintain relationship with India and Pakistan unless it urge India to resolve the disputes. If you are referring to India then the 200 million people of Pakistan are against India and whom you will punish. There is no doubt that USA has lost the war in Afghanistan and is trying to put all the mess on Pakistan.

Muna Mar 11, 2017 01:06pm

Well pakistan's prime sin is helping US,western zionists get there... Now what should priortize pak establishment is to reverse it...Even if it costs more heavily

F Khan Mar 11, 2017 01:07pm

If WH & Capitol Hill has to penalize Pakistan on the basis of Hudson/Heritage report co-authored by HH then there lies the problem. HH is well known anti-establishment person. Just giving you an example he is giving lectures these days in US, Europe and India about the state of poor education statistics in Pakistan. May I ask him what was he doing when he was our ambassador in PPP government? He was adviser & ambassador in multiple governments so can not absolve himself of the state of the affair now. He was our US ambassador when we had probably the most corrupt government in our history Zardari-Gilani-Raja.Agree we have problems otherwise we would not have been here where we are now but using HH report to decide our fate is like giving Hilter a nobel peace prize.

CP Mar 11, 2017 01:09pm

If the carrot doesn't work, the stick always does.

Komal S Mar 11, 2017 02:14pm

Pretty blunt, hope the Pakistani establishment is listening. The turning point is going to be next election in Pakistan. Unfortunately with the current political scenario there is no clear winner, if USA pushes Pakistan hard, it is possible Rawalpindi will be back in control.

Raghu Mar 11, 2017 02:26pm

Mr. Krepon, Good reading of the situation!

While fully agree with your reading of the proposed direction of US policies, non action or not changing of the course is , I feel not an option. Particularly for a active administration of Trump

WOW Mar 11, 2017 02:45pm

Wow, although an interesting piece, I wish the writer also delve further into the matter as to why we are where we are. He seems to miss the point that even though, that in a way Pakistan is compelled to take steps based on historical pretext, others in the region are doing the same. Although Pakistan has made mistakes but that does not absolve US of their blunders as well.

His piece makes it seem 90% admonishment towards Pakistan's policy and 10% of why US should not take the aggressive course it has. Although Pakistan needs internal changes to its policy matters but at the same time US needs to rethink its course and approach to the region. US needs to discuss with India and Afghanistan as well since they are relevant players. Giving them a clean chit will mean, trying to clap with hand. It is strange he does not delve further into the proxies being controlled by the eastern neighbor and how they are creating this hawkish policy Pakistan. HISTORICAL CONTEXT is very relevant.

Waqas Mar 11, 2017 03:29pm

The problem with the US analysts is that they are too deeply entrenched in their own thinking to have a holistic perspective of why we are in this situation in the first place. They think that US interests are the only ones that matter for everyone in this world.

Sorry - but to us our interests matter and when they do not converge then we will have to do what suits us.

Secondly the people of Pakistan (and frankly most Islamic countries) have no faith left in the global institutions to work in a transparent and fair way. From the UN to the ICJ - everything is just geared to work for the powerful/richer countries.

Want to solve issues? Come to the table and talk honestly - this media and congress bashing is not going to change anything.

ozz Mar 11, 2017 04:16pm

While i agree with some of the points in the article, yet it is not a holistic one. Terrorism is on the rise in Pak. Mostly backed by proxies in Afghanistan and India. It is indeed a failure of Pak leadership to highlight this a appropriate world forums. They dont even have a foreign minister! Unfortunately US has not been able to win the war in Afghanistan despite being a super power and spending nearly two decades now in Afghanistan. False war on Iraq with weapons of mass destruction has been a big blow to Uncle Sam's credibility.

It has been found out that there is a high correlation between financial corruption and terrorism in Pakistan. Operations in Khi has shown that some political forces and terrorist are closely linked. The unconditional support of British establishment to Altaf Hussain has exposed the mind set of the west in supporting corrupt politicians in Pakistan.

Bashing Pak more will further push it in China and Russia block and will not be in interest of US.

Pakistani Mar 11, 2017 04:48pm

Terror Outfilts Sponsored by India: LTTE Mukhti Bihani Al Zulfikar TTP BLA BRA

Terror Outfits Supported by the US: Contras Mujahedeen against USSR in Afghanistan UNITA Various Cuban Exiles

The US should appreciate is employed the wrong strategy in Afghanistan. It supported one minority ethnic group against the majority and is now facing the consequences. Furthermore, its new allies are alleged / widely percieved to be warlords, drug lords and child rapists on teh pay roll of India and Iran.

If Pakistan continues to be blamed, perhaps there is no reason for it to support the US in Afghanistan and for it to actively support a party that will help secure its eastern border from India, which is hell bent on Pakistans destruction.

Pakistani Mar 11, 2017 05:09pm

Apprecaite the advice from Micahel K. We want to be good friend and allies with the US, but the reality is our interest is for UN Resolutions on Kashmir to be honoured, the US has different interests - to sell arms to India as a potential counterweight to China.

I hope Pres Trump recognises this and understands Pakistan's concerns. If UN Resolutions on Kashmir are implemented, the animosity between India and Pakistan should dissappear.

moin kamal Mar 11, 2017 05:12pm

Its time Pakistan stood up USA and Say Thanks and take no AID.They wants to create a division between Army and inept political system who has no F.M. yet and looting Pakistan. We are a Nyclear Power and there should be Justice for us. Pakistan and Turkey are two strong pillars who can stand Western presures to tow their time.

fairness Mar 11, 2017 05:42pm

This stubborn mindset that it is Pakistan that must act to mend relations is shamefully shocking. Pakistan has its own list of concerns and they must be merged with concerns of others before jointly moving towards a peaceful region. We can only do that by abandoning the believe that it is always Pakistan that is at fault.

Irad Mar 11, 2017 05:50pm

Riding two horses at the same is very tricky, even beyond the expertise of circus horse riders.

well meaning Mar 11, 2017 05:59pm

@Pakistani we don.t have animosity with pakistan , why do you feel we have animosity. we love paksitani culture and people here in India . the best serials and best food come from Pakisstan

Nasser Brohi Mar 11, 2017 06:17pm

@Pakistani The most realistic approach would be to make South Asia a nuclear free zone. It was India that initiated the race in the region, with Mr. L.K. Advani extending immediate threats to coerce Pakistan into obedience.
Considering the financial costs of the current nuclear race, both India and Pakistan should devoute more towards eliminating mass hunger, poverty and disease. Pakistan alone can't be designated for all the regional ills. Extremism in India too is on the rise. An example is the ruling BJP's refusal to nominate even a single Muslim candidate in the state elections in the UP despite a sizeable Muslim population there. In Kashmir too, Americans ought to encourage an approach based on a dialogue. In fact, all the relevant issues destabilising South Asia including Afghanistan situation need a dialogue. Stick policy will never work. It is absolutely not in the best interests of neither USA, nor India, Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Nomi Mar 11, 2017 06:23pm

This is nothing new. It was long predicted that USA will finally come to a ugly ending since it has miserably failed in Afghanistan , practically threaten by the steady rise of china and surprisingly high voltage involvement of emerging Russia in the region. The same Americans with even worse Pakistan left no stone to praise , till Pakistan was serving their purpose. The above script is well thought and written by the paid think tanks of US, who have exactly made the world believe that WMD exists in Iraq and make it pre-requsit to attack , which after a decade turns out to be false. One thing good about Pakistan is that this is our 2nd time , where we are ditched and thrown like a toilet paper by the Americans. Although Pakistan has played it Safe , by securing her national interests rather than theirs. This whole hue and cry is cos of CPEC and the active involvement of Russia. Americans are scared of the theory. The new formation is in the making and no power on earth can undo it

Waqas Riaz Mar 11, 2017 06:34pm

Author should have also observed the other side of the story. People in Washington are intentionally putting a blind eye to terrorist organization working out of Afghanistan and forget to say "do more" to their own military in Afghanistan. India and Afganistan are supporting terrorist groups to destablize Pakistan. What do the US think of the Indian spies captured in Pakistan? Will allow such actions on its own soil as well, if they are so righteous of acts. This is a clear diplomatic hypcoricy by US policy makers to expect Pakistan to work for their interests while indulging herself in destablizing the latter.

powayman Mar 11, 2017 06:45pm

Nice article!

jayasekhar --- komerath Mar 11, 2017 07:57pm


                    Excellent thinking
R S Chakravarti Mar 11, 2017 08:19pm

@Nasser Brohi I agree with a lot of your views but the nuclear-free zone needs to include one more country.

Saif zulfiqar Mar 11, 2017 08:21pm

Pakistan has been a very good friend of US all the time. A request to the Americans: Listen honestly to yourself and then decide.

Muhammad Javed Mar 11, 2017 09:04pm

Facts cannot be ignored, no matter how much twisted logic one can conjure up.

Fact 1: USA needs a stable Pakistan. An unstable Pakistan is danger for the whole region; including India and China. Fact 2: Political establishment in Pakistan depends upon US support, unless status quo changes. Fact 3: GHQ in Rawalpindi may follow Pentagon directions under special circumstances, otherwise they like to march to their own band. Fact 4: Even in the midst of wars for the last 40 years, Pakistan is still standing; unlike some other countries who could not survive a single war. Pakistan's progress is flat but the near future trends are upwards. Many has tried but failed to bury Pakistan. US has to work with Pakistan accepting her an eternal realty.

Bottom Line: Pakistan's establishment should put Pakistan first. The US on the other hand should give Pakistan enough respect so they can do so. Pakistan should demand respect not aid. US should demand co-operation not sub-ordination.

ABE Mar 11, 2017 09:05pm

Simply because Trump White House is not bashful about bashing anyone. So don't take it personally, He has managed to insult and rub the wrong way many nations, their leaders and mocked their internal policies and stance on issues which Trump does not agree with.

Ignore Trump. That's the just desert for someone who craves attention.

akram Mar 11, 2017 09:07pm

excellent article with good analysis of different perspectives. However I get the feeling the nuances of intelligent evidence based reason and sound judgement are giving way in the US to chest thumping, which is of course a mistake as Pakistan has an army which is only too happy to reply with more chest thumping, comforted that they don't need the US as they have China.

Trump must learn from previous mistakes that belligerence only leads to belligerence. Pakistan's generals need to also learn the Talibs are not the way to gain influence in Afghanistan any more. They have caused enough death and destruction in Pakistan let alone in Afghanistan. To expect them to live in peace when they know only war is not logical. Pakistan must hold true to the democratic rights of Kashmir without pursuing the paths of Masood Azhar and Hafiz saeed. These people are leading us down a path to hell, with no understanding of its consequences.

akram Mar 11, 2017 09:09pm

@CP not if the other person also has a big stick. The nuances of the article appear to have been lost on you.

Muhammad Javed Mar 11, 2017 09:11pm

@Oracal Somehow powerful thinks that "reaping what you sow" only apply to the weak only. When someone even try to bring this to US attention, they blame them for justifying terrorism. How dare you link 911 with US 60 years of Middle East policies.

I think it goes for everyone, strong or weak, US or Pakistan, You Reap What You Sow.

Sham Mar 11, 2017 10:04pm

@F Khan Do you think HH want to do any harm to Pakistan. He suggested a solution to all the problems you people facing but nobody wants to listen him that's the real problem with Pakistan.

Abdulha khan Mar 11, 2017 10:21pm

@CP Obama carried carrots, while Trump carries a big stick!

Syam Mar 11, 2017 10:23pm

@Pakistani please inform who recognised the then Taliban govt. in Afghanistan

PUSHTUN VOICE Mar 11, 2017 10:26pm

How about the US arming of Syrian "moderate" rebels? Is this considered an act of terror against a soverign nation of Syria? Or the completely unlawful attack and occupation of the soverign State of Iraq? Any repurcussions? Have we forgotten the "shock and awe" on Baghdad? Have we forgotten that more than a million Iraqis perished in that war? Have we forgotten that there was no ISIS before the US invasion of Iraq? So my friend please take your advice and stick it

Vijay Mar 11, 2017 10:45pm

@Waqas For a super power they care about their own interests and rest of the world does not care.

Sher khan Mar 11, 2017 11:06pm

@Paksitani - India is gradually moving towards extremism, Modi party just won the elections in Mumbai, everyone will soon see more attacks on Pakistan, and I have no doubt in my mind that one day India will be another Afghanistan in this region if Modi remains PM for another term.

Iqbal ahmad Khan Mar 11, 2017 11:14pm

Declaring Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism would mean: a. Putting Pakistan clearly and squarely in China's lap. b. Putting question marks against Pakistan's increasing inclination to push back terrorism c. Possible instability and return of the generals which could be disastrous d. US and the West loosing influence in nuclear 200 million strong Pakistan at a time when Asia is rising and therefore the focus of attention. The US should not be impetuous in deciding such an important matter lest it lives to rue the decision.

San Mar 12, 2017 12:21am

@Paksitani Why Pakistan is bringing terror in the way and also denying it?. This has created mistrust about Pakistan. As long as Pakistan is soft towards terror, it is a diplomatic advantage to India in internationally. Pakistan is fool to tame such snakes. One day or other Pakistan need to take action against its own nurtured terrorists. The backlash it receives will be tremendous.

nopunintended Mar 12, 2017 03:17am

@Waqas agree

Ali Ahmad Mar 12, 2017 04:01am

My honest opinion: Due to incompetent foreign policy and lack of interest in Pakistani diplomatic affairs from Pakistan side the Indians got the upper hand for a long time uninterrupted. Eleven years to be exact, which a very long time. Sadly low level embassy operatives to ambassadors have their interests, mainly how to make money. Watching them in action will make you vomit.

Khwarizmi Mar 12, 2017 05:28am

I believe Pakistan can have great relation with the new US administration. But Pakistan's foreign policy is extreme weak these days proven by the fact that we don't have a dedicated Foreign Minister and even our Muslim allies have turned to India.

farid Mar 12, 2017 06:21am

For Pakistan the simple solution is to say GOODBYE to US and strengthens its relationship with China and Russia. Relying on US is just a waste of time and Americans are not time tested friends.

Mg -Washington Mar 12, 2017 06:49am

@Pakistani Please read the UN resolution; you may not want to argue for its implementation if you read the resolution instead of the rhetoric of your politicians!!!!

SUNITA SHARMA Mar 12, 2017 07:02am

As an Indian, along with my Pakistani and Indian friends - we would very much wish to see peace and prosperity between both India and Pakistan. If the USA can help in this endeavor, then please step up if you have a concrete plan. Otherwise let the two nations sort out their differences. I for one am not very optimistic this will happen while Modi is in power - he's extremely hell bent on destroying any peace in the region.

UD Mar 12, 2017 07:08am

Why they are doing it?

AXH Mar 12, 2017 07:14am

If it was that easy for the US to label Pakistan as a state that sponsors terrorism then it would have done it by now. Let's say, hypothetically, if Washington does label Pakistan then how do you thinbk it will be able to access Afghanistan? India has been trying very to isolate Pakistan but it has had zero success so far.

Asif A Shah Mar 12, 2017 11:37am

It seems that the status go will continue in Afghanistan for the near future. Pakistan thinks that its stances in its relations to India are justified because they are based on the established principles of international law. However, at least ostensibly, in one area there is a convergence of interests among Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA and India. And that is to control militant outfits within Pakistan. In this context, Pakistan takes decisions to muzzle on these outfits because it thinks that their undue influence is not in the interests of the country. Most nations do not give up their perceived strategic interests unless they are compelled by the dynamics of their internal politics. USA has come to this region from a far off place. Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have historic roots in the region.

R Sahu Mar 12, 2017 12:24pm

It is said "Pakistan is a poor country with the ambition of a superpower". This attitude with the resulting action is the cause of all the problems Pakistan faces.

Random Mar 12, 2017 01:26pm

Two things have happened in quick succession that have led to the change in the soft diplomacy or the track two diplomacy. Modi became the PM in India and Trump took over as the President and relegated the Pentagon from the national strategy. What will be the new options only time will tell. For the present it is difficult to decipher, but one thing is certain, Pakistan has lost the elite status in Washington.

Asif Ali Mar 12, 2017 01:55pm

"In addition, the Congress began to impose new penalties by cutting down on the Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan and refusing to provide financing assistance for the sale of additional F-16 aircrafts. " Is financing for F-16 is more important than feeding our new generation. every time in war mood, when we focus on something creative. when we labelled our country as an islamic state, we isolated ourselves from rest of world, politicising religion did grave harm to us this is the main cause for terrorism we today facing.

Mike London Mar 12, 2017 05:59pm

The whole world realizes what is wrong with Pakistan's policies, but Pakistan still in denial. If the US pull its plug on Pakistan, this nation's economy will go into a convulsion, the boys will not be able to sustain its life support anymore. China will try to help monetarily for a while, but will be unable to go against the West's interest on critical geopolitical decisions. For example, Iran, Iraq,Northkorea, cuba, Sudan all are on life support waiting to be rescued oneday.

Irfan Mar 12, 2017 06:18pm

@CP The stick will go up somebody's behind. And not necessarily Pak's. Tread carefully CP.

sAmeer Mar 13, 2017 10:15am

@Asif Ali Agree a 100%.

Arshad Mahmood Mar 13, 2017 09:13pm

@Mike London Denial or paying the price for being US's friend. Reality is US ran away from the battleground. Pakistan has more soldiers because of vacum on the other side of the border. US tried full sanctions before, did not achieve much & then it was begging for help to oust Russians. Why is it so hard for US to ensure UN's compliance of UNSC resolution on Kashmir - will solve all the problems. US should stop caring just for its interests whilst shafting everyone else.

Saad Mar 14, 2017 09:55am

Dear Author! What about the terrorist attacks Pakistan received and lost thousands of innocent lives.

Who is behind this? US or Ind? Can u justify this?

kanwarch Mar 15, 2017 01:58pm

The problems lie in the fact that strategic interests of USA and Pakistan do not converge at the moment in Afghanistan and added complication is provided by the dirty role played by indians in this mix. USA should understand that to succeed in any bilateral project it has to be a win win for both sides. You can not expect Pakistan to do as told unless Indian influence is curtailed in the whole equation and pakistan concerns regarding india are addressed first.

This is the battle of survival for Pakistan and Indians are trying to take advantage as they did in 1971 and played vital part in the creation of Bangladesh. Pakistan wants to ensure that this time if Indians dare to do such thing then they will have to play a very high price indeed and Pakistan will have very little to lose in that situation. Afghanistan has become secondary in the present circumstances for Pakistan.

Mad RuSSER Mar 16, 2017 07:06pm

@AXH : by informing pak very very very politely, softly and in a sensuous way that not providing access will be the fastest way to get its seventy two upstairs.

well meaning Mar 18, 2017 08:26am

@Waqas so you have the money why not become powerful . why blame the west for becoming powerful

well meaning Mar 18, 2017 08:33am

@Irfan with much higher number of terrorist attacks and deaths, fix ur problems stop threatening other peoples.