An influential US lawmaker has introduced a bill in the Congress seeking a “radical reset” of ties with Islamabad. By doing so, the bill seeks to push the American government to declare Pakistan a "state sponsor of terrorism", or give a detailed justification for not doing so in a limited time.
Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Congressman Ted Poe, yesterday introduced the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act (HR 1449) in the US House of Representatives.
Introducing the bill, 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 said.
"It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism," the Texas lawmaker said.
The bill requires US President Donald Trump to issue a report within 90 days, detailing whether Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism.
Thirty days after that, the Secretary of State is required to a submit a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is a "state sponsor of terrorism", or a detailed justification why it does not meet the legal criteria for such a designation.
Separately, in a joint piece in The National Interest magazine with James Clad, who was US deputy assistant secretary of defence for Asia in the George W Bush administration, Poe called for a "radical reset" of ties with Pakistan.
Arguing that all efforts to change Pakistan's behaviour have failed, they said it was time that the US "sets, unilaterally, the limits of its indulgence".
They urged the US government not to let the next crisis in South or Southwest Asia deflect America's focus.
"Don't rush to shore up Pakistan's balance of payments via the IMF or other intermediaries, as we've done in the past," they said.
"Let China pay that, if the Pakistanis wish to mortgage their future in that way.
“China's 'One Belt, One Road' infrastructure plans for Pakistan are running into big problems," the two said in the piece.