The year 2018 is turning out to be quite an eye-opener for Pakistan. Seemingly, global leaders have come on the same page and agreed upon the fact that Pakistan is not only a ‘safe heaven’ for terrorists but also a sponsor of terrorism. On the very first day of the year, Donald Trump rebuked Pakistan for funding terrorism. Now, former CIA Director General David H Petraeus has refuted Pakistan’s claims that it has “irrefutable evidence” of India financing terror. In a response to a question, he said, “As director of CIA, and commander of ISAF in Afghanistan, I never once heard the term ‘Indian State-sponsored terrorism’.” His comments were followed by a loud applause. Interestingly, the question on Pakistan’s claim of India being a terror sponsoring state, was addressed to Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar but Petraeus fielded the question voluntarily.
S Jaishankar later called Pakistan’s claims of Indian state-sponsored terrorism fictional saying, “When I was asked to speak here, I was asked to stick to facts and not fantasy scenarios.” Recently, the United States has called for terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s prosecution “to the fullest extent of the law”, following Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s interview, in which he said, “There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. Only when there is a case can there be action,” Earlier, this year, US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” and harbouring “terrorists”. “There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan,” Haley told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
On Thursday, Heather Nauert, US State Department spokesperson slammed Pakistan for acquitting UN designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed, saying, “We regard him as a terrorist, a part of a foreign terrorist organization. He was the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks which killed many people including Americans.” Stressing on the prosecution of Saeed, Nauert said, “We have made our points and our concerns to the Pakistani Government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted.”
Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai also highlighted the hypocrisy of Pakistan on terrorism and appreciated US’ tough stand on Pakistan saying, “They (US) should do all they can, through political, economical and other means, to bring Pakistan, their Army and Intelligence, to recognition that the use of extremism as a tool is no longer tolerated by the world.” He also supported Hafiz Saeed’s prosecution and scrapped the ‘no evidence against Saeed’ claims of Pakistan saying, “Oh! There is plenty of evidence, everyone knows that!”
On January 1, Donald Trump had slammed Pakistan for “lies” and “deceit” with a tweet, saying, “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump tweeted. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Earlier, too Trump had asked Pakistan to apologise for giving shelter to 9/11 accused Osama Bin Laden, saying, “When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some “ally.””