Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to develop his country like India and get rid of terrorism, but the powerful army and the ISI does not let him do it, an Indian-American Republican donor has said.
“Nawaz Sharif is trying to take Pakistan in the right direction. I do not know for sure, but it seems like that if it was just him they would get rid of the big disease terrorism. They would really like to develop like India. But ISI and military does not let him do it,” said Shalabh ‘Shalli’ Kumar, founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition.
Kumar, the top Indian-American donor to Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, was here last week to meet with Congressman Ted Poe who has introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives, which if passed would push the Trump administration to declare Pakistan a State sponsor of terrorism or give a justification for not doing so.
Now spending time in both India and the US, Kumar said the ISI’s and Pakistan Army’s support to terrorism and opposition to India is not because of any ideological philosophy but because of the financial benefits coming to their top officials through such an approach.
“They are doing this not because of a philosophy, but because they make a lot of money because of the conflict. If the conflict was to go away, they would lose out financially,” he told Indian reporters.
The Congressional passage of the bill, HR 1449, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2017, “will actually help the Pakistani people and Prime Minister Sharif,” he said, adding that it would result in a lot more pressure on the ISI and the powerful military to react positively.
Trump already had a major effect on Pakistan’s policy, when they arrested JuD chief Hafeez Saeed.
“It is pretty very clear that President Trump is not going to put up a two faced Pakistan,” said Kumar, who had organised a major rally for Trump last year to address the Indian-American community wherein terrorism was a major focus.
“So, in a way it is good. Let’s strengthen the hand of Prime Minister Sharif. If terrorist activities gets rooted out, world becomes safer. India and Pakistan will have a better relationship. That would be a great situation,” he said.
As the Trump administration completed 50 days in office, Kumar said India-US relationship is moving smoothly in a positive direction and their ties are now headed for a great relationship.
“It is time to make America-India great again,” he said in response to a question.
He praised Trump for mentioning Kansas shooting in his joint address to the US Congress and the condemnation coming from the Trump administration.
At the same time, he acknowledged that there is a general sense of anxiety among Indian-Americans in the aftermath of a series of attacks against them in recent weeks.
“It is essentially the work of some greedy people, opportunistic people and planted left-wing media and Democrats. It is a combination of all these who have created this sense of anxiety and concerns among the Indian-American community,” he added.