Pak – US Relations Part – 9

War on Terror: Catastrophic Mistake

The United States’ “War on Terror” was an interesting mistake. During it, friends fought with, against, and tricked each other all at the same time. So, it was only natural that it got what it earned. Pakistan stood by Washington’s puppets in Kabul because it thought it was a friend of the US that wasn’t in NATO. It gave up its alliance with the Afghan Taliban, which was right next door, and made the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is a branch of the Taliban, its enemy at home. In return, Kabul stabbed it in the back, and Washington handled it like it was forced to work for them. It was constantly whipped to do more and better work.

The US gave up on Kabul and gave the Taliban the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Doha. After the US left, the ANA gave up without putting up a fight and gave themselves over to the Taliban. And Kabul’s night watchman ran away with stolen US dollars on an aero plane. In order to reach its global goals, the US started promoting India, which is Pakistan’s biggest enemy, as its deputy sheriff in the area. It went too far to keep steady pressure on Pakistan. It got Pakistan on the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and kept the fear of blacklisting hanging over its head like the sword of Damocles. It helped Afghanistan and India help the TTP terrorists hurt Pakistan and keep the country on its knees. It called the TTP a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and killed its shady leaders, both of which were classic examples of double-dealing at its best. This was done to keep the TTP in line and send a message to Pakistan that the TTP leadership would not be able to backstab them.

The US’s non-NATO ally was always in danger of being put on a black list because of the FATF

Doha Negotiations without knowledge of Afg Government

The US was just as sneaky with its puppets in Kabul as it was without them. According to the proceedings of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it “walked into the Doha negotiations without letting the Afghan government know what was going on. “The talks with the Taliban were mostly about the US leaving Afghanistan, and the Taliban were reminded that they could attack Afghan forces but not US troops. And, with a wink, it said that Pakistan’s friendship with the Haqqani Network was to blame for Afghanistan’s loses. During the War, which lasted for more than 20 years, Pakistan’s Armed Forces killed more than 18,000 TTP terrorists and destroyed their infrastructure and support base in the country. At least 1,100 attackers from Al-Qaida were also killed or caught. Many TTP members fled to Afghanistan, where some joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province and others stayed with the TTP. In 2019, there were between 3,000 and 4,000 TTP terrorists in Afghanistan, according to the US Department of Defence.

Without a question, Pakistan’s Armed Forces are in the top 10 in the world. But the insurgency killed 83,000 people and cost the country $150 billion. It also forced 3.5 million people to move and make it hard for them to get back on their feet. Obviously, the TTP would not have been able to live and grow without help from other countries. Pakistan said that it had “significant proof” that India helped the TTP to make Pakistan unstable and to fight against Pakistan’s Afghan policy. It also said that India was giving money to the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan. When 132 innocent children at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar were brutally killed in December 2014, there was no question in anyone’s mind that “a banned group could not operate on such a large scale unless it was funded by foreign powers.” The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), which is the Indian spy agency, gave money, equipment, and training to the TTP terrorists in the Indian consulates on the Pak-Afghanistan border. In the same way, Afghanistan treated the militants as “guests” and gave them freedom of movement and access to government-run clinics for medical care. The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence service, went too far to help them. Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah has said on record that the TTP has “a foothold in Afghanistan.” In private, the NDS leaders also admitted that “they (had) set up attacks against Pakistan.”

In the early days of the War, when Pakistan was fighting the TTP, the US, Australia, and Japan were trying to get India to join them in a strategic alliance. The US brought up the idea of “more maritime cooperation” between the four armies because of how well they worked together to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” as it came to be called, began officially in 2007. It was “matched by joint military drills called “Exercise Malabar” that were bigger than anything that had ever been done before. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pulled Australia out of the partnership in December 2007. His successor, Julia Gillard, brought it back in June 2010. From then on, it never turned back. Without a question, the partnership was mostly aimed at China. However, as India’s role in Afghanistan shows, it also had major effects on Pakistan.

At the same time, the US made it possible for the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement (2008), also called the “123 Agreement.” The process, which began in 2005, took more than three years to come to fruition. Under the deal, the US lifted a ban on nuclear trade with India that had been in place for 30 years. It also asked the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to let India out of its obligations. This made India the only country that had nuclear weapons but had not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and could still make nuclear deals with other countries. This gave India a clear advantage over Pakistan in terms of strategy. The FATF was just another way to put pressure on Pakistan. It made sure that the US’s non-NATO ally was always afraid of being put on a black list and grouped with Iran and North Korea. In 2008, Pakistan was put on the “grey list” because it was “found” not to be doing enough to fight terrorists. This was done while Pakistan was in the middle of Operation Rah-e-Haq and fighting in Swot against the TTP-TNSM alliance (Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi). In 2012, when Pakistan’s Armed Forces were trying to stop a rise in terrorism attacks across the country, the injury-cum-insult was used again.

In February 2018, Pakistan was back in court to hear what the FATF thought about the International Cooperation Review Group’s (ICRG) tracking report. Before the FATF could decide, it asked for permission to send a compliance report on the ICRG’s charge sheet. The request was “accepted, and the meeting ended on a positive note.” But Pakistan was put on the “grey list” because of “huge pressure from the US” at the FATF’s plenary meeting in Paris on June 29. The U.S., UK, France, and Germany “claimed that Pakistan had not taken the steps needed to stop terror financing on its territory.” The decision was based on the ICRG report, which said that “Pakistan had made some progress on three of the four major areas of concern.” Cash theft across borders was the only area where Pakistan said it was making slow progress and not having much success. The result went against the FATF rules, which said that countries with weak economies should be treated more kindly.

FATF rules said that Pakistan only needed the support of three member countries to be taken off the list. The most clear hopes were China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. But the US, with help from India, did everything it could to win over China and Saudi Arabia. China was offered a position as vice president of the FATF, and Saudi Arabia, which was an observer, was given full membership. Turkey stayed strong, but it couldn’t save Pakistan by itself. Acting U.S. Secretary of State Alice Wells said that the decision was made because of Pakistan’s “inability to take concrete actions against Hafiz Saeed, the (accused in) Mumbai attacks, and (anti-India) organisations like Jaish-e-Muhammad and other sectarian” groups. Hafiz Saeed was found guilty of funding terrorism by Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court in September 2020. Pakistan has also “taken sufficient measures” to meet the FATF’s demands. But it is still on the “grey list,” which means that the FATF is keeping a close eye on it. On February 25, 2021, Dr. Marcus Pleyer, who is President of the FATF, said, “What is important now is that Pakistan completes the action plan.”

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