Pakistan is a country located in South Asia bordering India, Afghanistan, Iran & China. Pakistan has been a safe haven for terrorist groups for many decades and it is time for it to own up and destroy the terrorist groups that seek the destabilisation of Asia and the world.
Pakistan has for year’s maintained international denial when it comes to terrorism, denouncing it every time when the subject of terrorism pops up. However, secretly the Pakistani government has used terrorist groups that are based in Pakistan, in order to reach its strategic goal especially when it comes to Afghanistan. An example of Pakistan using a terrorist group to reach its strategic goal is Afghanistan, where they have been using the Taliban as a proxy against the old enemy, India. However, as Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, a former Pakistani ambassador to China, India and the US, has said “relying on the Taliban to provide leverage is demonstrably stupid”.
The BRIC nations recently for the first time named militant groups based in Pakistan as a regional security concern and called for their patrons to be held to account. India welcomed the move — which came at a summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen — as an important step forward in the fight against militant attacks, of which it has been a target.
Pakistan’s continued double standards have led it to be attacked by the same terrorist groups it has protected which includes the Taliban. An example of this can be seen in the 2014 Peshawar school massacre which was conducted by the Pakistani Taliban killing 148 people, including the attackers. This should have been enough for Pakistan to stop supporting terrorist groups, but yet it has continued to support such groups and I can’t help but feel that the Pakistani PM has no choice but to support these groups. This is because of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, which is probably the most powerful institution in Pakistan holding considerable power, many argue more than the PM. The ISI has maintained, as usual, a hardcore commitment to eradicating terrorist groups camped in Pakistan on an international and domestic level, but in secret the ISI, time and time again by various secret agencies around the world, have been exposed of continuing its support for terrorist groups favourable to ISI’s strategic goals.
The continuation of ISI’s policy has led the BRIC nations coming with a joint statement referring to Pakistan’s four extremist groups as ‘threats to regional security’. These terrorist groups are on the UN terrorist list, yet they are active in Pakistan. Trumps statement about Pakistan, coupled with the meeting between Xi and Modi on the sidelines of the Xiamen summit, in addition to disengagement from the Doklam by both China- India has led many Pakistanis to worry if China is starting to turn away from Pakistan. Considering that China has its own problem with terrorism in the North-West region, it is no surprise China is publicly pressing Pakistan to clamp down on terrorist groups which happen to have direct links to groups in China.
If the ISI and the Pakistani government are stupid enough to continue its double standard policies then it will be internationally isolated and if Pakistan’s only international ally (China) turns its back, then Pakistan will have no choice but actually denounce and eradicate terrorist groups. Otherwise the state of Pakistan will be in jeopardy as it will have enemies surrounding it.