Will the US House bill declare Pakistan a terrorist state, or will this be thwarted again?

Pakistan's three A's are Arms, America and Allah.
Will the US House bill declare Pakistan a terrorist state, or will this be thwarted again?
Will the US House bill declare Pakistan a terrorist state, or will this be thwarted again?
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By Ahmar Mustikhan

A bill introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressmen Judge Ted Poe, chairman of the Terrorism subcommittee from Texas, and Dana Rohrabacher, ranking member from California, that calls for designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism state has generated much interest. 

While introducing the bill last Tuesday - a day ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's UNGA address - Congressman Ted Poe said, “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years.  From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s."

He added “It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”  

It is not for lack of evidence that chances of the bill succeeding are slim. Terrorism charges are not unsubstantiated and was witnessed by the whole wide world when Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif eulogised Burhan Wani, who belonged to the terrorist Hizbul Mujahideen at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) earlier this week.  

It was clear that Sharif's speech was scripted by Pakistan's omnipotent army. The country's military establishment has always been and will remain the real culprit in acts of Pakistan-based terror.  Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, the real ruler of Pakistan, had met the toothless Sharif before his departure to the US. The timing of the bill was also aimed at drawing attention to Pakistan's role as a country that nurtures and sponsors terrorism.  

The resolution to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, HR 6069, is a manifestation of the anguish being felt in powerful sections of the US establishment over the actions of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In the last eight months alone, footprints of acts of terror on US soil could all be traced to Pakistan. There was the San Bernardino massacre by the pro-ISIS Pakistani couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tafsheen Malik who did not even care for their infant child.  And then there was the act of terror in New Jersey and New York by Pakistan-trained Ahmad Khan Rahami last weekend.  

The killing of Osama bin Laden and everything leading up to it itself proved beyond an iota of doubt that Pakistan was a rogue and terrorist state but surprisingly the country never got this designation. “Just look at the cunningness of the Pakistan army generals,” says Dr Nazir S. Bhatti, president of the Pakistan Christian Post, speaking to this writer over the telephone from Philadelphia. “They took billions of dollars from the U.S. but hid bin Laden and got away with it.” He said Pakistan needs to look itself in the mirror before talking about human rights in Kashmir as its treatment of religious minorities, Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis and army crimes in Balochistan which are unconscionable.

Around the time of the bin Laden killing, the names of at least three CIA chiefs were outed by their Pakistani counterparts, the ISI, one after another: Craig Osth, Jonathan Banks and Mark Kelton. The last, Mark Kelton was allegedly poisoned by the ISI. Ostensibly at the ISI's behest, CIA chief John Brennan was accused of waging a war against Pakistan. All this however did not stop the CIA chief from hosting the ISI chief at the Langley headquarters each spring for intelligence sharing as if it was business as usual. At least two Pakistanis paid a heavy price in the bin Laden saga - former Pakistan ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, whose head was rolled for good and Dr Shakil Afridi, arrested and tortured for committing the alleged crime of bringing bin Laden to justice. He is still behind bars. However, the Obama administration continues to look the other way. 

The US has to do a lot of introspection if the House adopts an act that says Pakistan is indeed a terrorist state, beginning with what are the main causes for its client state to become what it is and what role has the US played in it? The answer is most of Pakistan’s political woes can be attributed to the three “A”s: Army, America and Allah. This is because the army, a brutal force of medieval barbarism, a political party and the country’s largest and most corrupt business enterprise, all in one, have been able to do whatever they wanted because of the carte blanch support from Uncle Sam. At the same time the army of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan invoked religion or Allah as justification for their action to hoodwink the gullible public.

A look into history shows how two powerful brothers, Allen W. Dulles, the longest serving head of the CIA, and John F. Dulles, US foreign secretary, played a major role in developing Pakistan to what it is today during their “secret war” to maintain US supremacy in the world. Pakistan's army became a direct beneficiary of the infamous Dulles Doctrine that set out to reward mercenary elements throughout the world that were willing to play the role of rogues and thugs. It is no secret that the US was enthralled by General Ayub Khan, Pakistan’s military dictator.  

A picture from those days shows Gen Ayub Khan jovially slapping President Lynden B. John on his cheek. Pakistan seems to have turned this into continuous slaps ever since, slapping the face of the US with impunity without paying any price. Without the support of the US, it may never have been possible for Pakistan to commit crimes against humanity in Bangladesh in 1971 as has been well documented in Gary Bass's book, The Blood Telegram.

Even today, Pakistan continues its war crimes in Balochistan as the US administration does not seem to be in sync with the feelings of the Congress and remains unwilling to push Pakistan to accept the right to self-determination of the Baloch people, or even to end war crimes there.

The HR 6069 has generated a lot of interest among all those who have suffered at the hands of Pakistan terror in the US, especially the Afghan American communities and the Baloch in exile. After the Sunday pre-dawn attack allegedly by the Jaish-e-Mohammed of Masood Azhar which left 18 Indian soldiers dead in Uri, Indian home Minister Rajnath Singh charged that Pakistan is indeed a terrorist state.

Ahmar Mustikhan is a senior Baloch journalist and founder of Friends of Balochistan in Washington DC. @mustikhan

The views expressed in this piece are the author's own.

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