A report compiled by a dozen U.S. think-tanks and universities has suggested that designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism is unwise in the first year of the Donald Trump administration, but should be kept as an option for the longer term.
The report advises the Trump administration to "state up front that it intends to review the intelligence on Pakistani involvement in supporting terror much more critically than its predecessors", reports the Dawn.
Scholars and experts from Asian Studies Centre, The Heritage Foundation; Georgetown University; National Defence University, New America; Hudson Institute; Brookings Institution; Centre for Strategic and International Studies and the Middle East Institute jointly compiled this report.
The report argues that U.S. engagement with Pakistan must be based on a realistic appraisal of the country's policies, aspirations, and worldview.
"The US must stop chasing the mirage of securing change in Pakistan's strategic direction by giving it additional aid or military equipment. It must be acknowledged that Pakistan is unlikely to change its current policies through inducements alone," it said.
The working group, which compiled the report, wants the United States to recognise that its efforts over several decades to strengthen Pakistan militarily have only "encouraged those elements in Pakistan that hope someday to wrest Kashmir from India through force."
The report urges the Trump administration to "avoid viewing and portraying Pakistan as an ally and to deal with it as a non-ally, which has engaged in supporting the Afghan Taliban.
Advising the new administration on how to deal with Pakistan, they argue: "As a first step, the US must warn Pakistan that its status as a Major Non-Nato Ally is in serious jeopardy. Unless Pakistan takes immediate steps to demonstrate that it fully shares US counter-terrorism objectives, the US will revoke (this) status within six months."
At the same time, the administration should maintain the option for Pakistan to be an ally of the United States in the future, the reports. And if Pakistan behaves, as desired, it should be offered "a package of trade and investment cooperation" as "a key building block" of a new alliance.
The report also wants the administration to "prioritise engagement with Pakistan's civilian leaders," noting that the Pakistani civilian government under Prime Minister Sharif is trying to correct the country's direction.
The scholars also want the Trump administration to work with China and Gulf Arab states to persuade Pakistan to stop tolerating terrorist groups and individuals.
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