by Brig Arun Bajpai

American top Think Tank, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report on Pakistan is out. It recommends to Trump Administration that if Trump Administration wants the 17 year old Afghan War to end in a peaceful manner then it has to shame Pakistan by naming the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network operating from sanctuaries in Pakistan, provided by its military and exposing the exact locations of these sanctuaries which America knows. America must also declare Pakistan as a terror state.

Let there be no doubt that despite war of words going on between Trump Administration and Pakistan since January this year, America stopping almost two billion dollar worth of aid to Pakistan, that also includes 800 million dollars military aid ,US has not gone all out to choke Pakistan but has left the door ajar for reconciliation. Recent visit of American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pakistan is indicative of it. May be US is worried that tightening of screws against Pakistan will put Pakistan totally in Chinese camp. May be America is also worried that Pakistan being a nuclear country the strict action by US against Pakistan may result in these Jehadis getting their hands on nuclear war heads. Truth is that both these fears of US are misplaced. After 62 billion dollars investment, that China is doing in Pakistan in CPEC, Pakistan is already so much in debt of China that it cannot wiggle out even if it desires. Pakistani Generals are earning fat money in this CPEC. They will never allow their puppet PM Imran Khan, whom they have installed, to disturb their apple cart. As for nukes going into jehadi hands, this will only happen if Pakistani army themselves gives them to these jehadis against India or America. Both US and India must make it clear to Pakistan that if this happens, Pakistan will be removed from the face of earth by nuclear strikes, no excuse will be endeared that Pakistani Army is not responsible for non state actors getting it.

CSIS has recommended to Trump Administration of America that US must expose all the hideouts of Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network in Pakistan, details of which it has as a result of its satellite surveillance and other means. It must also make it clear to Pakistan that if Pakistani Army does nothing against them, then US will be forced to launch Drone attacks. CSIS also recommends that US should withdraw from Pakistan, NATO Ally status, which enables Pakistan to get lot of military hardware from US. This report also says that US should declare Pakistan a terror state earliest.

Currently Pakistan urgently needs 12 billion dollars loan to cater for its imports and pay back interest on loans, in other words to remain afloat. Pakistan has explored all possibilities for this 12 billion dollar loan but except for IMF, fully controlled by America, it does not see any other possibility.US has already said that it will not allow any loan to Pakistan to pay back interests on loans it has taken from China. So Pakistan is in a dire economic crisis but its Generals will still not stop their policy of sponsoring these jehadis because they fully know that theirs is a political Army, incapable of fighting wars. Jehadis are their fighting arm.

If America really wants peace in Afghanistan, it has no option but to tighten screws on Pakistan. It needs to give ultimatum to Pakistan on destruction of Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network. It must tell Pakistan that US will no more tolerate good and bad Taliban concept. If Pakistan refuses to act against its sponsored Jihadists then America must take on this responsibility itself. US must withdraw NATO ally status from Pakistan and declare Pakistan a terror state. It should not harbour any thought from Pakistan of change of heart or any action against its sponsored Jihadists. Especially so since now its Army has got a puppet PM Imran khan who is on the same page as Pakistani Army. Very recently Imran Khan had called the notorious Pakistani Intelligence agency ISI as Pakistan’s first line of defence. What more proof America wants?

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same