July 2016 News

Pakistan Humiliated Over Terror As It Seeks Support On Kashmir

14 July 2016
Times of India
Chidanand Rajghatta |

Washington DC: Pakistan was humiliated on the world stage on Wednesday after it attempted to crank up international pressure on India on the Kashmir issue. A range of lawmakers, analysts, and diplomats called Pakistan a terrorist entity, said it should be denied foreign aid, and proposed that its leaders, including its military generals, be sanctioned and stopped from traveling to the United States for consistently cheating the world community on terrorism. A congressional hearing in Washington and the United Nations general assembly were the forums for Pakistan's public shaming after its representatives tried to rake up the Kashmir situation in the wake of the violence in the Indian state. Accusing his counterpart of misusing the UN platform with phony concern about human rights, India's permanent representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin lashed out at Pakistan, calling it 'a country that covets the territory of others; a country that uses terrorism as state policy towards that misguided end; a country that extols the virtues of terrorists and that provides sanctuary to UN-designated terrorists.' 'Pakistan is the same country whose track record has failed to convince the international community to gain membership of the UN human rights council in this very session of the UNGA,' Akbaruddin sneered, saying the 'international community has long seen through such designs' and such 'cynical attempts find no resonance in this forum or elsewhere in the United Nations'. He asserted that 'as a diverse, pluralistic and tolerant society, India's commitment to the rule of law, democracy and human rights is enshrined in its founding principles.' The Indian riposte came even as Pakistan's terrorist poster-boy and UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed threatened escalation of violence in Kashmir. Hafiz also met with Syed Salahuddin, the Kashmiri separatist leader who incites violence in the state from the safety of PoK. Meanwhile, Saeed's Twitter account @hafizsaeedlive was suspended for inciting violence, reportedly on a complaint from New Delhi, even as the US expanded its drone strikes to eliminate Omar Mansour, the terrorist accused of the attack on the Pakistani army-run public school in Peshawar that killed 130 school children. India's excoriation of Pakistan was mild compared to what transpired in the US Congress a few hours before. US lawmakers and experts testifying before a congressional panel called for designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism and for cutting off all aid to Islamabad. One analyst, Long War Journal's Bill Roggio, went so far as to recommend even cutting off educational aid (which some lawmakers wanted retained), because, he argued, money is 'fungible' and what was given as education or humanitarian aid freed up other moneys for Pakistan's general fattened on US aid. It was arguably the harshest indictment of Pakistan in congressional hearing history as lawmakers holding the hearing and those testifying before it shamed the country for repeatedly hoodwinking successive US administrations on the issue of terrorism, milking Washington for aid while promising to change course. 'They are making chumps out of us. They see us being so stupid. It seems like paying the mafia,' said congressman Matt Salmon, who was holding the hearing. 'If I may use an undiplomatic term, we have been patsies,' said former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Bush era diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad. 'Chumps ... patsies ... idiots,' Salmon concurred. Khalidzad described how Pakistan manipulated the US by reaching out to US officials and lawmakers with a charm offensive each time it had its back to the wall, promising to change, but then not changing after collecting the money and the pressure eased off. He reminded the panel of how Musharraf had maintained terrorism was fine as long as it was directed against India. The harsh indictment came even as Pakistan moved swiftly to take advantage of the insurrection in Kashmir, calling on the UN, US and other major western countries to intervene. But Washington declined to be baited into the situation, asserting that at a state department briefing that is policy and position regarding the Kashmir issue had not changed. At the congressional hearing, Roggio maintained that Pakistan's support for terrorism extended beyond the Kashmir issue; it was part of a strategic depth policy based on a paranoid assessment of India. Pakistan will not change its calculus until it is severely sanctioned, both Roggio and Khalidzad argued, calling for ending all foreign aid and funding, cutting off visas for all Pakistanis including its politicians and generals. Khalidzad went so far as to suggest the US should use its clout with the IMF to shut down even that source of funding for Pakistan. No lawmaker disagreed. Not one stood up for Pakistan.