December 2003 News

Quit Infiltration Across LoC: US Report

5 December 2003
The Times of India

Washington DC: A US policy report prepared by three former envoys has stated that the US policy of waging a war on terrorism does not match with Islamabad's policy on terrorism in so far as the latter supports extremism in Kashmir. Pakistan also lacks the will to prevent pro- Taliban elements from using the Pashtun tribal areas as a base to attack Afghanistan, the report said. 'US interest in pursuing the war on terrorism conflict with Pakistan's continued support for Islamist terrorists engaged in 'Jehad' against India in disputed territory of Kashmir and Pakistan's failure to prevent pro-Taliban elements from using the Pashtun tribal areas as a base to attack Afghanistan (with which US is seeking better relations) and has caused concern about reported nuclear commerce within North Korea:' says the report. A US Task Force comprising Nicholas Platt, a former ambassador to Islamabad and Frank Wisner, ex-ambassador to New Delhi has prepared the report which categorically asks Islamabad to stop infiltration of terrorism in Kashmir. According to The Nation , the report asks Pakistan to 'permanently prevent infiltration across the LoC, and modify its present negotiating stance, which makes progress on Kashmir a precondition for dealing with other India-Pakistan issues.' The report also recommends to White House to 'do more to reach an understanding with the Jammu and Kashmir government that better addresses the aspirations of Kashmiris and increases the pace of economic development, and reduce the level of activity by Indian security forces and improve their human rights record.' The policy report alleges that Pakistan's territory is being used in carrying out terrorist attacks in Kashmir and Afghanistan and recommended White House to 'make clear that Pakistan's failure to do a better job in preventing the use of its territory by terrorists will reduce US assistance level.' Titled 'A Task Force Report: New Priorities in South Asia: US policy towards India, Pakistan and Afghanistan', the report observes that White House and Islamabad's interests in war against terrorism are in conflict as in the past and that 'US and Pakistani policies only partially coincides.' It says that Bush administration must engage Islamabad for reduced political role of army and ISI's involvement in electoral process in Pakistan. According to the report, Pakistan presents one of the most complex and difficult challenges facing US diplomacy and that political instability, entrenched Islamist extremists, economic and social weakness and dangerous hostility towards India 'have cast dark shadows over this nuclear armed nation'. It further said that even though Pakistan offers valuable help in rooting out the remnants of al-Qaeda, it has failed to prevent the use of its territory by Islamist terrorists as a base for armed attack on Kashmir and Afghanistan. 'Ease restrictions on India' The Task Force recommends that US should ease restrictions on cooperation with India in the civilian satellite sector, treat India as a 'friendly' country in granting export licences for transfer for defence equipment. It also recommended to be flexible on the export to India of dual use items that have civilian and military uses and encourage US foundations, businesses and scientific and educational institutions to expand efforts to develop cooperative programmes with Indian counterparts.


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