In a shocking setback to Islamabad, two US lawmakers have moved a bill to designate Pakistan as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’, Times of India reported Wednesday.
The move testifies to growing complexity of relations between the two ostensibly major allies in the ‘war against terror.’ The bill, HR 6069 or the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, enjoins the US administration to make a formal call on the matter within four months of its passage.
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The president will have to issue a report within 90 days, followed by the Secretary of State who will in the remaining 30 days detail whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism and provide detailed justification as to why Pakistan should not be designated as such.
The bill was moved by ‘renowned Indian lobbyists’ Congressman Ted Poe from Texas and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California. “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years. From harboring 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,” Poe said in a statement on Tuesday announcing the bill. ”It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism,” he added.
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In a separate statement, Poe condemned the attack on the Uri military camp in India, saying it was the “latest consequence of Pakistan’s longstanding irresponsible policy of supporting and providing operational space for ‘jihadi’ terrorist groups.”
“Pakistan’s reckless behavior in this regard is a serious security risk to its neighbors – and India unfortunately pays the price all too often. We condemn this tragic attack, as well as Pakistan’s support for many criminals like the ones who carried it out, and stand firm in our commitment to our friends in India,” Poe said.
In the new turn of events, the ‘terrorist tag’ to Pakistan appealed even more following the arrest of the New York serial bomber who is now widely believed to have been radicalised after extended stays in Pakistan.
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This is the first time in over two decades that there is talk of formally designating Pakistan a terrorist state. Such a measure was last discussed in 1993 after Pakistan was blamed for orchestrating the Mumbai serial blasts, killing 259 people in the attack that was a precursor to many such attacks across the world, including in New York, London, and Madrid.
The developments come on the morning of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech before the UN, in which he is expected to highlight the “Kashmir issue” and India’s human rights violation in the state.
Courtesy : Express Tribune