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Addressing terrorism concerns can prevent Pak-US split: USIP scholar

9 August 2017 No Comment

Report in the News, Aug 9, 2017
Islamabad: Pakistan can avoid ‘rupture’ in relations with the United States by helping it stabilise Afghanistan.

Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Associate Vice President of the Asia Centre at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) Washington, expressed this viewpoint while speaking on ‘Trump Administration’s prospective policy towards Pakistan’ here at the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS).

Dr. Yusuf proposed that Pakistan should act against Haqqani Network and Taliban in a verifiable manner. He gave an overview of the ongoing reassessment of US policy on Afghanistan by Trump administration and its likely implications for uneasy Pak-US ties. “The policy that would emerge from the process, which has come to be known as the ‘South Asia review,’ is expected to have a greater regional perspective,” he said.

Dr. Yusuf touched on reports that Washington could get tougher with Islamabad, especially on the issue of terrorist sanctuaries. He said, there were divisions within Trump administration on dealing with Pakistan, but one view that is gaining traction among the public is that pressure on Islamabad for acting against Taliban and Haqqani Network should be ramped up.

Violence has gone up in Afghanistan, where the Afghan government is struggling to contain Taliban insurgency. As per UN statistics, there have been 1,662 civilian deaths during the first six months of the year, a majority of which was because of suicide attacks and improvised explosive device blasts. Military casualties have also been shockingly high. “President Trump appears to be losing patience with the situation and in one of the review meetings suggested firing of his top commander in Afghanistan,” Dr. Yusuf mentioned.

Dr. Yusuf warned that a breakdown in bilateral relationship would serve neither country’s interests and advised that ways should be explored to avoid such an undesirable situation. He noted that while neither sides wants a split, a terrorism incident in Afghanistan with American casualties could push the two in that direction.

Dr. Yusuf was further of the view that while it was difficult for US and Pakistan to develop convergence on Afghanistan, India, and nuclear issue, efforts should be made for broadening the areas of cooperation. Earlier, CISS Executive Director Ali Sarwar Naqvi gave his perspective on US-Pakistan relations and the existing regional situation.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/222391-Addressing-terrorism-concerns-can-prevent-Pak-US-split-USIP-scholar

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