A couple of days after the newly-elected Shehbaz Sharif took oath as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan, an expert from the United States pointed out the need for a ‘new approach’ toward a country that has not aligned with the niceties shown by Washington.
As per the analyst, the US should revoke Pakistan’s major non-NATO ally status and designate Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency as a foreign terrorist organisation as well as the country as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Writing for The Washington Examiner, Michael Zubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said Washington has downplayed the reality in Pakistan and asked for a “new approach” toward the south Asian country.
Pakistan is, alongside Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism. It enabled, sheltered, and protected al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It continues to shelter those involved in murdering Americans and dozens of others in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Most recently, Pakistan sought to humiliate President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken by appointing an openly terror-supporting diplomat to be its ambassador to the United States On an official visit to the U.S., Khan acknowledged the presence of some 30,000-40,000 armed terrorists operating on Pakistani soil. This should be enough to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Zubin’s analysis read.
“Pakistani Ambassador Masood Khan should be declared persona non grata and given 48 hours to leave the country,” Rubin argued.
The US-based scholar further suggested that the US State Department should decide to shut down its consulates in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. “To balance this, the State Department should order the closure of Pakistan’s consulates in Boston, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. In short, it is time for a policy that ends US strategic incoherence toward Pakistan,” Zubin has opined.
Further, he threw light on Pakistan’s recent tendency to fall short of financial transparency while stating, “The country has made no serious effort to address money laundering and terror finance concerns raised by the Financial Action Task Force, perhaps believing that China will diplomatically prevent serious punitive action.”