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US must snap out of delusion that terror supporting Pak will change its stripes

ANI  |  Washington D C [United States] 

Pakistan's armed forces and its Directorate will be more willing to sacrifice American defence assistance, U.S. taxpayer money and all other goodies that come with that relationship, rather than cut off decades-long ties with extremists who are seen as effective proxies to check arch-rival India's influence over the region.

Expressing this view in an article for The National Interest, Daniel DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities, says, "The Beltway foreign policy establishment needs to snap itself out of the delusion that the Pakistanis will change their stripes. It will take a lot more than an aid cut or a public scolding (by Donald Trump) to capture the Pakistani Army's attention."

"And even then, the generals running the show may see a higher value in groups like the and the Haqqani Network than in an annual billion-dollar check from Washington," he adds.

He maintains that circumstances or an issue at hand determines the Washington-narrative.

"(They) can either be partners working in concert or adversaries," DePetris says.

Both nations, in effect, view one another warily at best and hostile, ungrateful, or duplicitous at worst. A relationship such as this, even one that is transactional, cannot stand for long, he warns.

He opines that the relationship between the and is not so much about personalities, but more about the two holding completely different views of which terrorist groups should take priority and how should be governed.

In Afghanistan, U.S. policy has been consistent about supporting in its aim of grinding down insurgents in order to convince its leadership to reconcile and join the mainstream, and to ensure that never becomes a haven for transnational terrorism.

For the Pakistanis, isn't necessarily about terrorism, but an indelible extension of its intense historical and geopolitical rivalry with

in the eyes of the Pakistani military remains a top threat to Pakistan's national sovereignty and security. An Indian role in Afghanistan, however benign or insignificant, is frowned upon in as yet another attempt by to encircle it, contain Pakistan's freedom of movement, and gain additional leverage in the region at its expense.

Within the Pakistani military establishment, it's simply impossible and inconceivable for to foment deep roots in a country that it views-rightly or wrongly-as within its sphere of influence.

Armed groups that the designates as terrorist organizations or impediments to an peace process are utilized as assets in to keep India's regional influence at bay.

"The Haqqani Network, the Taliban, Lashkar e-Taiba, and the any number of extremist organisations that operate, fundraise and recruit on Pakistani soil are not so much agents of destruction for as they are valuable cards in the deck. The groups are not to be shunned or combated, but exploited as tools in Pakistan's national-security strategy against New Delhi," DePetris concludes.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 08:10 IST
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