US President Donald Trump is very serious about tackling terrorism and this is why he might be willing to downgrade Pakistan’s exalted status as a major non-NATO ally because of its support to terrorists.
According to a report published by Reuters, the US is concerned about the increasing attacks in Afghanistan by terrorists operating out of safe havens in Pakistan.
Trump might go for a range of measures from increasing drone strikes on terrorist camps inside Pakistan to withholding aid. But downgrading, if chosen, would be the real jolt to Pakistan.
The US is particularly concerned about the Haqqani Network, which carries out terror attacks on US forces in Afghanistan.
Though nothing has been finalized, the report comes ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US on June 26.
It would be the first meeting between Modi and Trump and it comes in the backdrop of increased India-US defense ties.
India and the US have been signing a slew of defense deals ever since the Modi government came to power.
Yesterday the news of US aerospace and defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin signing a deal with India’s Tata group to make in and export from India the F-16 fighter jets became the top story.
New Delhi has been raising its own concerns about Pakistan harboring and training terrorists to attack India. Pakistan-based terrorists, backed by the Pakistani army, have been infiltrating into India with increasing intensity.
Kabul, too, has been very vocal about Pakistan’s sponsoring of terrorist activities against Afghanistan.
Voices in the US government admit that Pakistan does little to nothing against the terrorists in the soil. But given the country’s status in the eyes of the State Department, which believes that Islamabad can be an instrument in the war on terror, no concrete action is taken against Pakistan.
There has been an increase in the number of influential voices in the US who think that Washington should not mistake Pakistan for an ally.