Pakistan-sponsored savagery has struck Jammu and Kashmir again, with terrorists linked to Jaish e-Mohammad, an anti-India militant outfit controlled by Pakistan’s military-intelligence establishment launching the deadliest terror strike in the …Read More
After months of threats and warnings to Pakistan for failing to act against terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the US administration has finally acted and suspended around USD 1.15 billion security assistance to its long-time ally. This follows President Donald Trump’s tweet on the New Year to hold up $255 million in foreign military aid to Islamabad.The suspension of US aid to Pakistan is a vindication of the long-standing stance of India, which has repeatedly argued that the US aid has been diverted by Pakistan to support and nurture terrorism in the region.
“Today we can confirm that we are suspending national security assistance only, to Pakistan at this time until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. We consider them to be destabilising the region and also targeting US personnel. The US will suspend that kind of security assistance to Pakistan,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters.
US President Donald Trump’s tweets have set off fireworks of a different kind in Pakistan than those that greeted the New Year. In a blistering attack, Mr Trump lashed out at Pakistan for hoodwinking the world, especially the US with its counter-terrorism masquerade, and threated to hold up $255 million in foreign military aid to Islamabad.
If Trump’s dire warnings have rattled Pakistan’s powerful civilian-military establishment, they have brought much cheer in India, which will be monitoring closely whether a beleaguered Islamabad will now walk the talk on terror.
Two nations, two narratives – “India sets up IITs and IIMs and Pakistan produces jihadis and set up terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohamed.” Taking an expose of Pakistan to a new level on the global stage at the annual UNGA jamboree, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a savage indictment of Pakistan for sponsoring and supporting terror against India and the region.
In her hard-hitting speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23, Sushma Swaraj was at her acerbic best, launching a scathing criticism of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi’s address where he had accused India of perpetuating state-sponsored terrorism and human rights violations.
Those listening had only one observation: “Look who’s talking!” A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and Human Rights from this podium,” she said at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
across the range of human welfare.
“Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror? What is the reason for this have they ever thought? There is only one reason. India has risen despite the principle destination of Pakistan’s nefarious export of terrorism,” she said.
In a triumph of Indian diplomacy and a sign of an evolving entente with China, BRICS countries have collectively backed India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism, with a BRICS joint declaration naming for the first time Pakistan-based anti-India terror groups, including LeT, JeM and the Haqqani Network.
The leaders of India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa held discussions on a wide array of cross-cutting threats in the coastal city of Xiamen. Jointly combating terror figured prominently in the talks.
At the end of the meeting, the BRICS leaders came out with a joint declaration, which addresses India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism.
“We deplore all terrorist attacks worldwide, including attacks in BRICS countries, and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism,” the Xiamen Declaration said.
Alluding to the fragile and deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the declaration said: “We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.”
The explicit mention of anti-India terror outfits, supported by Pakistan, in the Xiamen joint declaration is significant as China had opposed the inclusion of these terror organisations in the Goa summit declaration last year.
The inclusion of Pakistan-based terror groups has come as a surprise to analysts and BRICS observers here as Beijing had cautioned that Pakistan’s role in terrorism was not an appropriate subject for the BRICS summit.
US National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster is known for his plain-speak. And he did precisely that by sending out a tough message to Pakistan for its sponsorship of cross-border terror, ahead of his visit to New Delhi during which he focused on expanding counter-terror and defence cooperation with India.
In New Delhi, Lieutenant General McMaster held a series of meetings with the top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. “NSA McMaster emphasized the importance of the U.S.-India strategic relationship and reaffirmed India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner,” said a statement from the US embassy. “The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defense and counterterrorism cooperation.”
In Kabul, just before he reached Islamabad, McMaster had some blunt talk for Pakistan. “As all of us have hoped for many, many years, we have hoped that Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after (militant) groups less selectively than they have in the past and the best way to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy and not through the use of proxies that engage in violence,” Mr McMaster told an Afghan news channel in Kabul.
What is equally significant is that he nudged Pakistan to abandon the path of selectively targeting terrorists, a blunt message which found resonance in New Delhi. The US Embassy in Pakistan said as much in a statement that Mr McMaster “stressed the need to confront terrorism in all its forms.”
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Days after Indian troops carried out special strikes targeting Pakistani terrorists across LoC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined that India has never coveted any territory or attacked another country though it made sacrifices for the freedom of others.
“…It is neither hungry for land. But in the two World Wars (in which India had no direct stake), 1.5 lakh Indian soldiers had laid down their lives,” Modi said after inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, a majestic complex dedicated to nearly 27 million Indians living abroad.
“In the last two years, you have seen how the government rescued people from conflict situations, not just Indians but foreigners too,” Mr Modi said while alluding to his government’s rescue missions in conflict zones, including Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Ukraine.
Mr Modi’s remarks were aimed at the international community which has expressed concerns over escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan following the Indian Army’s special operation to target seven terror launch pads across Line of Control, in response to the Uri terror strike perpetrated by Pakistani militants. Read more…