Hinting at unilateral action
The United States has warned that it will take unilateral action if Pakistan does not cooperate in the implementation of South Asia Strategy. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told to the State Department Press Corps from Geneva that he did not visit Islamabad to lecture or coerce Pakistan but he did tell them to eradicate terrorism from the region with their support or in different way. “And that is not threat. It is just a matter of fact. We have to deal with the conditions on the ground. And as you know the entire South Asia Strategy is conditions based Strategy”, he said.
Tillerson acknowledged that he told the leadership in Pakistan that Washington would implement its new strategy with or without Pakistan’s assistance. He said this we think necessary. And if Pakistan does not want to cooperate then we will adjust our tactics and strategies to achieve the same objective a different way. Frustrated with its failures on the battle ground in Afghanistan, the United States is looking for a scapegoat on which the debris could be thrown. Being the neighbor of Afghanistan, Pakistan becomes the easy target. It is itself a victim of terrorism. The entire tribal belt has been purged of militant outfits with a multipronged and comprehensive Zarb-e-Azb military operation. A targeted clean up operation Radul Fasad is going on both in the settled and tribal areas. A thorough fencing of the border with Afghanistan is on to check the cross border movement of militants. But our sacrifices, colossal damage to the economy and persistent counterterrorism efforts are not recognized. Pakistan is dubbed as the epicenter of terrorism which is an unjustified attitude on the part of the United States. Tiollerson’s veiled threat of adjusting tactics and strategies must be taken seriously by the political leadership as the United States may extend the scope of drone attacks. A proactive diplomacy can ward of such attacks. The firebrand speeches of the foreign minister in the parliament will not provide any solution. The United States must be kept engaged on its South Asia Strategy.