The Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford has accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, of having
ties with terrorists. “I think it’s clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups,” US Secretary of Defense James Mattis echoed Dunford’s stance stating that the agency is pursuing its own agenda while Pakistan
itself struggles to fight terrorism. “They have lost probably more troops than any other single country in the fight against terrorism – at the same time we’ve seen havens left to the terrorists’ own devices. We’ve seen the government
of Pakistan come down on terrorists, when the ISI appears to run its own policy,” Mattis said. “Pakistan often gives safe havens to agents of chaos, violence and terror. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist
organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said, adding that the country had “much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists.” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined Trump,
threatening to cut US aid to the country unless Islamabad stops its alleged support for terrorists.
It is seen that White House’s tougher line on Pakistan has started affecting high-level diplomacy. It is reported that Islamabad asked Alice
Wells, a top South Asia official at the State Department, to indefinitely postpone a planned visit to Pakistan. Also, Pakistan’s foreign minister, who had been scheduled to visit Washington, is now going to China, Russia and Turkey instead, the three
countries with close or newly growing ties with Pakistan.
There are enough proofs that Pakistan is a haven for terrorist groups like
Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Omar, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). It gives aid to the Taliban, which includes soliciting funding for the Taliban, bankrolling Taliban operations, providing diplomatic support as the Taliban's virtual emissaries
abroad, arranging training for Taliban fighters, recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban armies, planning and directing offensives, providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel, and on several occasions apparently directly
providing combat support. Pakistan is home to approx 50 terrorist camps and many Kashmiri groups also maintain their headquarters in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which is cited as further proof by the Indian Government. JKLF has openly admitted that more
than 3,000 militants from various nationalities are still being trained.
However, it will be interesting to see if US who is now echoing
sentiments of India and Afghanistan’s (Pak neighbors, who have long suffered at the hands of Pakistan’s doctored militancy), is able to compel Pakistan to sever its ties to Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network. With the developing situation
it appears that in case Pakistan fails