October 16, 2011

US think-tank asks Obama to freeze aid to Pakistan

FRIDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2011 22:51


The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s leading conservative think-tank, has asked President Barack Obama to reverse his plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, stressing the US cannot afford to leave at this juncture a void that the Taliban is just waiting to fill.

It has also called for freezing US aid to Pakistan until Islamabad shuts down the Haqqani network and proceeds against those behind the rocket attacks on the US Embassy in Kabul last month.

Although the US Congress is taking steps to condition all US aid to Pakistan on a set of counterterrorism benchmarks, this approach may be insufficient, the Heritage Foundation said.

According to it, it’s time for the Obama administration to act on a “Plan B” vis-à-vis Pakistan on the grounds that “the main obstacle to progress in Afghanistan is Pakistan”.

“Refusal by the Pakistani military to take action against the Haqqani network seriously undermines US and NATO success in the Afghan mission,” it said and called for developing additional supply routes into Afghanistan in a bid to reduce Pakistan.
Accusing the Obama administration of “contradicting itself on the extent to which Pakistan supports US enemies in the region”, Heritage commented: “This is leading to speculation that the Administration is reluctant to rock the boat with Pakistan in the middle of its drawdown of forces from Afghanistan and before the next election. The US cannot afford to allow its security interests in the region to be dictated by Pakistan, whose strategic objectives differ from America’s.”

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