14 February 2017
Pressure on the Trump administration is mounting to adopt a tougher position towards Pakistani support of militants in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan itself. The pressure comes from a chorus of voices that include the US military, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and influential Washington-based think-tanks.
The calls for a harder line were issued despite a Pakistani crackdown on militants in recent months that many see as half-hearted. It also comes days after China, at Pakistan’s behest, blocked the United Nations Security Council from listing a prominent Pakistani militant as a globally designated terrorist.
Pakistani officials hope that some of Mr. Trump’s key aides such as defence secretary James Mattis and national security advisor Michael Flynn, both of whom have had long standing dealings with Pakistan during their military careers, may act as buffers. They argue that the two men appreciate Pakistan’s problems and believe that trust between the United States and Pakistan needs to be rebuilt. Mr. Mattis argued in his senate confirmation hearing that the United States needed to remain engaged with Pakistan.
… Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title, Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario and a forthcoming book, Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 14/02/2017