Isolating Pakistan and China

The United States, backed by the UK and France, has moved a proposal in the UN Sanctions Committee for declaring Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind the Pathankot airbase attack, as a ‘global terrorist’. As expected, China has opposed the US move. It amounts to supporting Pakistan in promoting terrorism. Due to China’s opposition, Pakistan and Masood may get a temporary reprieve but both the countries will stand exposed in the comity of nations: Pakistan as a promoter of terrorism and China as an aid giver and abettor of terrorism. India should take full advantage of the Chinese position in isolating it.
Even if the UN cannot move formally due to blocking by China, countries opposed to terrorism can now act in concert to put pressure on Pakistan. If Trump is really sincere in stamping out terrorism, the first thing he should do would be to cut off economic and military aid to Pakistan. All his predecessors, while condemning terrorism and sympathizing with India after every Pakistan-inspired terror attack it suffered, continued to give Pakistan economic and arms aid on the specious plea that Pakistan was the ally of the US in its global war on terrorism. This was nothing but self-deception because Washington had full knowledge of Pakistan’s role in waging terror attacks in India and Afghanistan through so-called non-State actors who were actually being trained and armed by the Pakistan army and the ISI. India exposed Pakistan’s hypocrisy thoroughly, but Washington was unwilling to act against Pakistan.
If Donald Trump is the first US president to take a decisive stand against terrorism and its sponsor, India should take full advantage of it. All the past tenants of the White House had advised India to engage in ‘dialogue’ with Pakistan so as to ‘resolve peacefully’ all their disputes, knowing fully well that dialogues will be useless unless Pakistan changes its policy. After each terror attack, India provided Pakistan with incontrovertible proof that the terrorists came from Pakistan. But Pakistan always maintained that the proof was not ‘adequate’ or ‘enough’ and thus avoided taking any action against the terrorists.
This game has gone on for all too long. Now the time has come for India put an end to this game. To the extent that the US under Trump acts against terrorism and terrorists, it will be to India’s advantage. There may be other differences with the US, as in the case of stopping outsourcing, but as far as suppressing terrorism is concerned India should support the US.

Thursday, 9 February, 2017