Washington, Feb 8: Pakistan’s military continues to support terrorist groups that attack India to keep it “off balance” and draws international mediation into dispute over Kashmir, according to a report by a group of eminent South Asian experts from 10 major American think tanks.
As per the report titled ‘A New US Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties’ which will be released here on Friday, Pakistan’s military has often disrupted nascent peace efforts pursued by Indian and Pakistani civilian rulers, most notably in 1999 during the Kargil war.
“Pakistani military leaders continue to support terrorist groups that attack India in an effort to keep it off balance and to draw international mediation into the dispute with India over Kashmir,” said the report.
“Pakistan’s use of terrorist groups as part of its security and foreign policy is a function of its obsession with India, which it perceives as an existential threat. From an outside perspective, Pakistan’s paranoia regarding India is unfounded,” it said.
The report said while India may be unwilling to renegotiate Kashmir’s territorial status, numerous Indian leaders have tried to reach a modus vivendi with Pakistan.
Pakistan never changed its policy of supporting certain militant groups that fight Afghan and coalition forces, making it impossible for the US to achieve its objective of keeping Afghanistan from reverting to a safe haven for international terrorism, it said.
“Pakistan’s seemingly unconstrained expansion of its nuclear arsenal, particularly the development of tactical nuclear weapons and extended range missile systems, also remains a cause for concern, especially with regard to India,” said the report co-authored by Lisa Curtis from The Heritage Foundation and Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistan Ambassador to the US, who is now with The Hudson Institute.
Among other members of the report are Col (retd) John Gill, Professor from National Defense University; Anish Goel, from New America; Bruce Riedel from Brookings Institution; David S Sedney, Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Marvin Weinbaum from, Middle East Institute.
The US clearly recognises that Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups is not the sole reason for Afghanistan’s security challenges.
However, the other problems become insurmountable when the principal insurgent groups enjoy safe havens in Pakistan, the report said.
Pakistan’s tolerance for terror groups also undermines the country itself, corroding its stability and civilian governance and damaging its investment climate, as well as inflicting death and injury on thousands of its own innocent citizens, it said. PTI