China may be Pakistan’s all-weather friend, but America has never been far behind. Throughout the cold war, the US continued to keep Pakistan supplied with arms, knowing full well that Islamabad’s claim of arming itself against the Soviet bear was false since the weapons were used against India in the 1965 and 1971 wars. Now, terrorism is Pakistan’s latest pretence to secure arms and ammunition from Washington although the possibility is high of the Pakistan army and the ISI channelling them to the “good” terrorists for use against India.
Given this old camaraderie, it is not surprising that a US state department official has let out the secret that Washington is delaying the transfer of the latest tranche of $ 250 million to Pakistan till the completion of secretary of state John Kerry’s visit to India to prepare the ground for president Barack Obama’s trip later in the month. The delay over the disbursement of $ 250 million, which is part of a $ 532 million assistance package, led to the collapse of a conference in Islamabad which aimed at extracting $ 380 million from the world community to rehabilitate Pakistan’s internally displaced people.
These manoeuvres underline the differences between India and the US on how to deal with Pakistan and its linkages with terror. India must use Obama’s visit to emphasise its strategic concerns. As the telephone intercepts among those on the India-bound terror-boat that was sunk by the coast guards demonstrated, Pakistan continues to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy even after the Peshawar carnage. The continuation of US aid, therefore, without any tangible evidence of a change in Islamabad’s policy will only disrupt the global war against terror. Apart from continued support to groups like the LeT and JeM which target India, there has been no evidence of the Pakistan army cracking down on the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqani network.