It is naive of India to think that the US would cater to Indian sensitivities while dealing with Pakistan-based terrorists who wreak havoc in India from time to time. Indeed, the Americans are obsessed with themselves and while it is not wrong for them to think of their own interest, they must shed all pretence of being wedded to fighting terror on a broader canvas. On the face of it, the US House of Representatives endorsement of three legislative amendments to impose tougher conditions for reimbursement of defence funding to Pakistan, adding a caveat that Islamabad should make satisfactory progress in the fight against terrorism, is a significant step against terror against a country that is the fulcrum of terrorism.
But the truth is that a key amendment out of these specifies that of the total amount of reimbursement and support authorised for Pakistan in the period beginning October 1, 2017, and ending December 31, 2018, $ 400 million would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless the Secretary of Defence certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan. The Defence Secretary also needs to certify that Pakistan is demonstrating commitment to preventing the network from using North Waziristan as a safe haven, and is actively coordinating with the government of Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, including the Network, along the Pakistan-Afghan border.
For all that we may expect of a crusader against terror, there is a fixation on the Haqqani network which directly impinges on American interests. The administration of Donald Trump as much as earlier administrations couldn’t care less about acts of terror directed against India which, ever so often, have innocent civilians as their soft targets. That terror recruits are being trained under the very nose of the American CIA and are being armed by the Pakistan army before they are assisted in infiltrating into India with specific tasks is of little concern to the US establishment. Another amendment by Congressman Rohrabacher expresses a sense of Congress that Shakil Afridi is an international hero and that the Government of Pakistan should release him immediately from prison. “Dr. Shakil Afridi,
a Pakistani physician, is a hero to whom the people of the United States, Pakistan and the world owe a debt of gratitude for his help in finally locating Osama bin Laden before 10 more innocent American, Pakistani and other lives were lost to this terrorist leader,” the amendment said. Pakistan’s imprisonment of Dr. Afridi presents a serious and growing impediment to the US’ relations with Pakistan, the amendment added. Yet, when it comes to India, Syed Salahuddin has been proclaimed by the US government as a ‘global terrorist’ as Hafiz Saeed was earlier and while they roam around free in Pakistan and spew venom against India, they are left scot-free. It is indeed double standards at their best.