To End Pakistan’s Double Game
by Imtiaz Wazir on 04 Feb 2018 6 Comments

Despite pressures on Pakistan asserted by the US President Donald Trump’s administration, NATO and the regional community, Pakistan-based terrorist groups including the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani network continue as instruments for terrorist and destructive activities across Afghanistan. These terrorist groups have been enjoying safe sanctuaries, training and fundraising centers in big cities of Pakistan, including the Tribal Region, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.


Nurturing and sheltering terrorist groups and using them for its notorious agenda in Afghanistan is an untouchable core policy of the Pakistani State, run by the country’s powerful military establishment. Politics and political parties in Pakistan are being reengineered by the country’s military establishment. Today’s political leadership in Pakistan with the exception of few is too weak and less-principled as compared to the political leadership in 1960s and 1970s.


Considering the ground realities, Pakistan has no intention to change its Afghan course, rather making efforts for legitimizing its wrongdoings with Afghanistan and the US-led Coalition Forces in the country, and at the same time challenging the US/NATO presence in the region. Former US Ambassador to Kabul, Zalmy Khalilzad, recently spoke out on Pakistan’s duplicity. “Since 9/11, Pakistan has consistently played a double game, harboring, training and assisting violent extremist groups like Taliban and Haqqani network that have killed thousands of Americans, coalition and Afghan soldiers and an even greater number of innocent Afghan civilians,” Khalilzad wrote in an opinion piece.


Being a fake ally to the US, Pakistan’s terrorist role in Afghanistan and around the region has been unmasked. The country has long been engaged in direct war with Afghanistan and the US-led international coalition. Can we afford more silence against such an open aggression by Pakistan? Further dependance on Pakistan’s lies and deceit could be suicidal for all of us. Kabul and its strategic allies including humanitarian, peace-loving and democratic forces around the globe have to come on a page and collectively devise a counter-strategy to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan and region. Opportunities should be exploited. It could ease our job in the present and future.


The terrorist attack on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and the Saturday’s [27 January] heinous act of terrorism near the old building of the Ministry of Interior - close to the Indian embassy – levelled ground for an immediate international conference of diplomats, politicians, experts, civil society, international media family, religious scholars and humanitarian organizations to advocate the Afghan case and get their support for taking terrorist groups and terror sponsoring states to court.


Before and after the conference, Pakistan-supported terrorism must be debated in a joint session of Afghan parliament and the United Nations Security Council. Unfortunately, not only Afghanistan, but the whole region has been confronting the worst consequences of President Obama’s non-popular policies on Afghanistan. He announced a troop increase in 2009, but undermined the strategy by setting a withdrawal deadline that reassured Pakistan to simply lie in wait to recapture Afghanistan through its war proxy - enjoying direct support from the country’s security institutions.


However, President Trump’s tougher, but widely popular approach on Pakistan and terrorist groups is optimistic for Afghan masses and suppressed nations in Pakistan. However, words should be translated into actions. Ending Pakistan’s double game and punishing it for its notorious wrongdoings is the only remedy to win the war on terror, to result in durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and around the globe.


The Afghan government and our regional and international allies are in dire need to materialize the ideas and impose various kinds of sanctions on Pakistan. In first phase, the terrorist and extremist elements in Pakistani society and security institutions must be enlisted and impose bans and freeze their financials assets. The United States should suspend Islamabad’s status as a major non-NATO ally and cut off all types of military assistance to the country, causing slow motion genocide of Afghan masses and Pashtun, Baloch and Sindhi populations in Pakistan.


Installation of UN-led administration and peace-keeping forces in FATA, deciding fate of disputed regions under the umbrella of the United Nations is the way forward and military strikes on terror havens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab and Islamabad should be undertaken. Drone strikes need to be increased. Pro-freedom voices in Pakistan should be given moral and diplomatic support. Pashtun, Baloch and Sindh Springs in Pakistan is the need of the hour, favoured by nature.


Designating Pakistan as a terror sponsoring state and taking control over its nuclear weapons is necessary to prevent a possible tragic human disaster in the region. Defensive policies against Pakistan and its fake partnership in the war on terror have been importing negative and worst consequences. Be aggressive and jointly confront and defeat this cancer to win the war on terror and share harmony.


The author is a journalist and activist 

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