Picking a side: US shift in regional allegiance
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2016-08-09 03:26:19

Picking a side: US shift in regional allegiance

A day after deducting $300 million from military aid to Pakistan over action against the Afghan Haqqani network, the United States urged Islamabad on Friday to target all militant groups. At a news briefing at the State Department, deputy spokesperson Mark Toner also encouraged closer cooperation between Pakistan and India in the fight against terrorists. “We’ve been very clear with the highest levels of the government of Pakistan that they must target all militant groups, and that includes those that target Pakistan’s neighbours, and they must also close all safe havens,” he said. “We encourage that kind of regional dialogue regarding counterterrorism efforts. We advocate for closer cooperation, certainly, between India and Pakistan to deal with terrorist threats in both their countries,” said the US official while responding to a question about a home ministers meeting in Islamabad of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc). The United States needed to comment on that, on Kashmir, on the ability of both nations to work out this contentious issue, and the support by the international community to the plight of the Kashmiris. Yet, it took the easy way out, and in doing so exasperated the problem rather than solving it. International organisations ranging from the United Nations to Amnesty International have all urged a resolution to the crisis following the recent spike in violence, and the use of pellet guns to blind protestors has been a subject of discussion amongst human rights groups. Yet the United State’s decision to stay silent shows it unwillingness to engage on this pertinent issue. The problematic aspect of this approach is that it ultimately favours India. By mentioning terrorism only – which should be mentioned, but not in isolation – and ignoring documented human rights violations in Kashmir, the US is unfairly vindicating India’s stance. Not only does this legitimise the actions taken by the Indian army as ‘not mention worthy’, it also antagonises Pakistani officials and most importantly, the Kashmiri people. he shift in regional allegiances has been apparent for a while now.  But the US government should remember that picking sides does not mean blinding oneself to legitimate problems – especially those that are a cause of continued animosity between two-nuclear armed neighbours.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

Categories:   Pakistan ، Islamic News ،
Tags:   pakistan ، India ، US ، Kashmir ، Haqqani network ،
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