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Pakistan unlikely to change policy on militants, says Husain Haqqani

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Pakistan's former to the United States, Husain Haqqani, has said that Imran Khan's recent statement promising end of support to militant Jihadi groups is motivated by the fear of blacklisting by the (FATF) and does not reflect a change of policy.

Speaking at a conference at Georgetown University, he observed that so far there is no evidence that the or are dismantling Pakistan's

"There is little change in Pakistan's attitude towards militancy, particularly the one directed against and India," Haqqani said, pointing out that failed to initiate any action against Jaish-e-Mohammed or its leader, Masood Azhar, after the Pulwama terrorist attack in

According to Haqqani, "Islamabad's close ties with were invoked to ensure that Azhar's designation as a terrorist by the was blocked by at Pakistan's behest." Such moves are consistent with Islamabad's policies of the last 30 years, he said.

Haqqani, the of several books, is currently for South and at the think tank and is considered an of the military's domestic and foreign policies, especially its support of Jihadi terrorism.

"Although FATF sanctions are not imminent," Haqqani said, "is trying to thwart them with such as Imran Khan's latest statement. There will be more PR moves as FATF pressures increase."

The former said that the desire to reassure the world, once again, that Pakistan wants to act against terrorist groups is motivated by economic considerations. "Pakistan's economy is not doing too well,' he noted, adding that "FATF sanctions would only make Khan's only economic option - more borrowing and financial bailouts by other countries and IMF-- more difficult."

stressed that "Pakistan's support for militancy is a strategic choice, motivated by the desire to provide a force multiplier for a relatively poor country trying to act as a major regional power without resources comparable to its perceived rival.

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

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 06:45 IST