Washington, June 22(ANI): A new report by a Washington think tank has said that some official elements in Pakistan are thwarting counterterrorism efforts, and advised the Obama administration to withhold some aid as a result.
According to the RAND Corporation report, despite offensives against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, evidence is strong that some official elements in Pakistan are still working with and protecting the extremist networks.
"There is enormous danger for the region, for the Pakistanis themselves, and frankly for us if these links aren't cut and some of these militant leaders we know are operating with official protection aren't dealt with," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Seth Jones, a RAND expert on Afghanistan and Pakistan, as saying.
"That's not going to happen unless there is much stronger pushing on this from the US," he added.
A key recommendation of the report's authors, part of a group that advises the Pentagon on Pakistan policy, is that the U.S. should hold back some of the aid promised to Pakistan until security and intelligence agencies make "discernible progress" in cutting ties to extremist groups.
"We're not advocating a break, but something has to be done about these links that are not just unhelpful but that threaten US interests," Jones said.
Citing the US effort in Afghanistan, he said the "US simply can't be fully successful in stabilizing Afghanistan with these groups continuing to enjoy the protection and support they get from Pakistani intelligence."
The report also finds evidence that the Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda are increasingly "teaming up" with Punjabi militant organizations in an attempt to destabilize the country's political and economic heart.
It concludes that Pakistani authorities are in danger of losing control over Punjab. (ANI)