Pakistan has lost the benefit of doubt before the international community due to its support to non-state actors against India, a top American think-tank today warned Islamabad that it will continue to lose traction unless it reverses this policy.
"When Pakistan crossed the nuclear threshold, Rawalpindi (Pakistan military) had the choice of shutting down militant, anti-India groups because they were no longer needed to keep India at bay - or using its deterrent as a backdrop to step up a campaign to change thestatus quoin Kashmir," Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a US think tank said.
"Rawalpindi chose poorly. Until Pakistan reverses this choice, it will continue to lose traction," Krepon said in an op-ed.
"Rawalpindi has received high marks for the counterinsurgency campaign waged against the Pakistani Taliban, overriding foot-dragging by political leaders. Because of this campaign, deadly explosions on Pakistani soil have been greatly reduced," he said.
"Groups active in attacks across Kashmir divide and in Afghanistan have been outside the ambit of this campaign. Turning against these groups will mean more explosions, but not turning against these groups will also increase internal-security concerns, while compounding Pakistan's international woes," Krepon said.
"This choice is obviously a lose-lose proposition, but postponing this choice even longer won't make it any easier. Pakistan will lose more by pursuing the same policies and by relying on the same old talking points than by changing course," he warned.
"The hard, unavoidable truth is that Pakistan can only achieve internal security and international credibility by taking overt steps against the usual suspects," he noted.