US warning to Pakistan

The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who is now in India, has issued a fresh warning to Pakistan for its promotion of terrorism. She has said that the US is now “approaching its relationship with Pakistan differently from the past” and that the “US could no longer tolerate the Pakistan Government giving a safe haven to terrorists.” Washington has issued such warnings to Pakistan umpteen times in the past with no effect. Even the reduction of US aid flow to Pakistan and holding in abeyance contracted arms deliveries to Pakistan have had no effect on Islamabad. The latest warning may be treated by Pakistan the same way it has treated the earlier ones. With China solidly backing Pakistan, Islamabad thinks it can now ignore US warnings.
Before 2014, the BJP used to criticize the Congress, especially the UPA, for pursuing a ‘soft line’ on Pakistan and not responding to terror sponsored by Pakistan in a befitting manner. The BJP also accused the Congress of not facing up to the frequent border violations by China in Arunachal Pradesh. However, after the BJP came to power, there has been no perceptible policy change in the NDA Government vis-à-vis either Pakistan or China. Pakistan organized a daring terror attack on the IAF base at Pathankot in early January, 2016. The NDA Government did something which even the ‘soft’ UPA Government never did. It invited a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan to inspect the high security airbase. The team included ISI officers also.
Nothing happened after that. Terror attacks across the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir are not only continuing but the number of such attacks is on the rise. Even the much trumpeted ‘surgical strikes’ did little to dissuade Pakistan from restraining the terrorists. India is still at the receiving end of Pakistani raids, as before. The NDA Government has carried on a high voltage propaganda on the surgical strikes for its image boosting and giving a ‘macho’ image of itself. But on ground little has changed. There have been occasions in the recent past when families living near the border had to flee from village after village in the face of heavy shelling, not by the jihadi terrorists but by the Pakistani regulars. Whether Nikki Haley’s latest ‘warning’ to Pakistan will bring about a change in the situation remains to be seen.

Friday, 29 June, 2018