Washington: After the Uri terrorist attack, there is a renewed emphasis to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. While Indian government has been trying to isolate Pakistan and make it look like a pariah state, there are reasons to believe that many others also want to isolate Pakistan and blame it for terrorist incidents across the world.
While Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to highlight the ongoing disturbance in Kashmir Valley, the Uri attack has changed the whole scenario. Russia and France condemned Pakistan and US has not endorsed what Pakistan was trying to achieve.
Now a bill has been introduced in the US Congress describing Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, even as members of the US Congress come down heavily on Sunday’s cross-border terror attack on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in which 18 Indian soldiers lost their lives. Congressman Ted Poe (Republican), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Republican) on Tuesday introduced the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act. Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years, Poe said in a statement.
Pakistan has harbored terrorist elements for long. From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s, he said. According to Poe, the bill will require the US President Barack Obama’s administration to formally answer this question. The President must issue a report within 90 days of passage detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism, the Congressman said.
It must be kept in mind that thirty days after that, the Secretary of State must issue a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is state sponsor of terrorism or a detailed justification as to why Pakistan does not meet the legal criteria for designation. Poe said it was time the US stopped paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism. In a separate statement, Poe described the attack as the deadliest assault in Kashmir in over two decades. It is a reminder to democracies the world over that terrorism seeks to destroy peace loving societies everywhere, Poe said in a statement.
While it is certain that Pakistani elements were behind attack, many things will clear in coming days. Stating that though it was not clear which terrorist group was behind the attack, he said one things was certain: This is just the latest consequence of Pakistan’s longstanding irresponsible policy of supporting and providing operational space for all stripes of jihadi terrorist groups. Pakistan’s reckless behavior in this regard is a serious security risk to its neighbors – and India unfortunately pays the price all too often. Condemning the attack, as well as Pakistan’s support for many criminals like the ones who carried it out, Poe said that the US stood firm in its commitment to our friends in India. A threat to democracy in India is a threat to democracy everywhere. And that’s just the way it is, he said
It must be kept in kind that India has blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group for the early morning attack on the sleeping soldiers. All the four attackers were killed. Though the JeM is yet to claim responsibility for the attack, it had admitted to its role in the cross-border attack on the Pathankot Indian Air Force base on January 2 this year that left seven Indian security personnel dead. Condemning the attack, Senator Mark Warner (Democrat), Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus said in a statement that the terrorists who perpetrated this cowardly act must be brought to justice. I extend condolences to the family and friends of the Soldiers who lost their lives in the attack, Warner said