Expressing frustration in Pakistan’s selective nature in taking actions against terrorist networks, top US lawmakers today said that there exists “duplicity” in America’s relations with Pakistan.
In a remarkably candid hearing, US senators openly accused Pakistan of killing of American soldiers in Afghanistan through proxies after perfidiously skimming US taxpayer dollars.
“The Government of Pakistan knows where the leaders of the Haqqani network live.The Pakistan Army knows exactly where these Haqqani networks and their families are,” Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker said during a Congressional hearing.
In his remarks, Corker alleged that the Pakistani Army is not willing to take out terrorist networks the Haqqani network in particular, who have now moved to the suburban areas.
Now that they have moved to the suburban areas, the US can not use drones to kill them as it did when they lived in the tribal areas of FATA.
Corker, who had successfully put a hold on sale of F-16 to Pakistan, said that the terrorist safe havens continued to exists in Pakistan with the connivance of the establishment.
“They have safe havens there. They are the number one killers of US and Afghan forces… Extreme duplicity exists with this relationship,” he said, alleging that Pakistan is harboring people and terrorist networks, and the US has paid USD 43 billion in aid to Islamabad since 2001.
“This is a very frustrating relationship. We all are more and more frustrated with the relationship,” Corker said.
Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the US ties with Pakistan is very challenging.
“They have been very selective in going after terrorist networks in particular the Haqqani network and LeT. We have problems with Pakistan,” Cardin said.
Testifying before the Congressional Committee, Daniel Markey, Senior Research Professor, International Relations; Academic Director, Global Policy Program School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, said that the US should “limit its expectations” in ties with Pakistan.
A former CIA official and the agencies Station Chief in Islamabad in late 90s, Robert L Grenier said that over the past few decades, the US has “overlooked” Pakistan’s support to terrorist networks including “its support to militancy in Kashmir” and its clandestine nuclear policy.
“Pakistan, for its part, has clung stubbornly to its own perceptions of national interest, and has generally refused to compromise those perceived interests, even when their pursuit has seemed irrational or self-defeating to US eyes – whether in the context of nuclear weapons doctrine, in its assessment of the threat from India, or in its calculus regarding both foreign and domestic militant groups,” he said.