Pak restoring to proxy war against India: US experts
Washington, May 2: Afghanistan's relationship with India is unacceptable to Pakistan, which is using proxies like Haqqani network and the Taliban against its neighbours, eminent experts have told US lawmakers.
During a Congressional hearing, Seth Jones, Director of International Security and Defence Policy Centre at the Rand Corporation said that Pakistan has resorted to proxy organisations to further its foreign policy goals.
"Pakistan has resorted to proxy organisations to further its foreign policy goals both in places like Jammu and Kashmir against Indians and in Afghanistan and that means support to organisations like the Haqqani Network and Taliban, so it's a proxy war," Jones said in response to a question from Congressman Ted Poe.
"The Pakistani government is continuing with its policy, their strategy of strategic depth, that it views everything through the lens of fighting India," Bill Roggio, editor of Long War journal said during the hearing organised by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation.
"That unfortunately some of these jihadist groups that have spawned from the Pakistani efforts to fight India to establish strategic depth in Afghanistan, it's come back to bite them with groups like the movement in Taliban and Pakistan, and other groups which have attacked the Pakistani state," Roggio said.
"Unfortunately, Pakistan seems unwilling to recognise this that it still while it fights the movement in Taliban and Pakistan, it continues what other groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and a host of other groups because they are willing to serve as Pakistan's strategic depth," he said.
Poe, who chaired the Congressional hearing on Afghanistan and Pakistan said that in recent years the US has given over 33 billion US dollars in some form of aid to Pakistan.
"Pakistan directly or indirectly supports the Haqqani Network, in theory. That network as we mentioned earlier, has killed more Americans in the region than any other terrorist group. To me that is something that we should not accept. We should not accept sending money to a country that support a terrorist group that kills Americans. I think there is a real problem with that," Poe said.
Poe alleged that Taliban is still based in Pakistan and it came as no surprise that when a US drone strike killed the leader of the Taliban in May 2016, he was in South-western Pakistan.
Speaking about ISIS, he said: "ISIS announced the establishment of Afghan affiliate in January 2015 and is entrenched itself in the eastern part of the country. ISIS presence in Afghan further complicates the country's tourist landscape."
He said these fighters ended up becoming the leaders of the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan known as 'ISIS Khorasan Province'.