14 Dec 17/Thursday
After the recent visit of US Defense Secretary James Mattis to Pakistan, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in his statement has warned Pakistan of serious consequences due its ongoing policy with Terror Organizations. Country could lose control of its territory unless Pakistan abandons ties with terrorist groups operating from their safe havens in the country that are growing in “size and influence.”
Ever since the change in Govt in USA, President Trump has come down heavily on Pakistan for providing safe havens to various terror organizations and not doing enough to control cross border terrorists’ activities in Afghanistan, which are planned & launched from sanctuaries in Pakistan. This also resulted in certain financial sanctions including the $ 700 million as reimbursement fund for helping USA in their operations against Taliban and IS terrorists in Afghanistan. Though the said fund has recently been sanctioned in the US Defence bill but handing over the same is not without the earlier term of references i.e. Do More and work on “Common Grounds” to ensure peace in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has though promised to cooperate but at the same time has threatened to shoot down the US drones if they enter the Pakistani territory. “We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace,” head of the Pakistani Air Force, Sohail Aman stated during a speech on the new Pakistani aerial defence policy, adding that he “ordered PAF to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Alarmed by the presence of terror elements and frequent terrorists related incidents in Pakistan, Tillerson has offered to even help Pakistan eliminate terrorism within their boundaries as well, but for that Pakistan has to begin the process of changing its relationship with the Haqqani Network and with others. He feels that terrorists and leaders of a group allied with the Haqqani Network are allegedly orchestrating attacks from sanctuaries in Pakistan, with the help of the neighboring country’s spy agency.
USA and many other countries of the world feel that Pakistan has allowed many terrorist organizations to find safe haven within its territories, and these organizations are growing in size and influence. If not contained now, in all likelihood in near future such terror groups may find Pakistan a better play ground to play their dirty games rather than Afghanistan or Kashmir. So, if the Pakistan sticks to its current policy regarding terrorists they may lose control of their own country.
Pakistan may not agree to this and term it as a hypothetical threat, citing success of ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ and ‘Raad-ul-Fassad’ operations against terrorists where it made a record of such by killing more than 200 terrorists in one single night. But few questions were asked by the public, as to how so many terrorists were roaming around freely and why they were not eliminated earlier? But it certainly proved the point about the Sanctuaries and if Pakistan lets them spread it may one day cover the entire country.