September 29, 2016
India Attacks Pakistan Terror Camps, Should US Declare Pakistan A Terror State?

In an expected turn of events, India attacked Pakistan Terror camp by carrying out surgical strikes last night. The Indian Army eliminated terrorists at the launch pads waiting to infiltrate the Indian State. Pakistan has completely denied the occurrence of any such surgical strikes. Pakistan has called it cross-border firing.

The Indian army's director general of military operations, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, said there was "very specific and credible information that some terrorist units had positioned themselves to infiltrate. Significant casualties have been caused by these terrorists and those who are trying to support them."

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors were running high following a terrorist attack on the Indian Army Base at Uri. Eighteen soldiers were killed in that attack, carried out by terrorists from across the border, as claimed by India. India has in the past captured terrorists who have confessed to their training in Pakistan.

The Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided to take strict actions against terrorists and nations that support terrorism. In an address at the UNGA, Indian external affair Minister Sushma Swaraj had appealed to the world leaders to stop supporting nations who back terrorists.

In the U.S., Congressman Ted Poe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of the Democratic Party, has recently introduced "Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act" (HR 6069).

"It is time we stopped paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism," said Poe. According to the congressmen, there was enough evidence to prove Pakistanis' support for terrorists.

They expressed concerns about the true intentions of Islamabad in fighting terrorism. Pakistan is an untrustworthy ally that has aided and abetted enemies of the US. From Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad to the Haqqani network, Pakistan has supported all terrorists.

A petition on the official website of the White House asking the government to declare Pakistan a terror state has crossed over 1,70,000 signatures. This petition has become the third most popular petition on the White House.

"This petition is important to the people of United States of America, India and many other countries which are continuously affected by Pakistan-sponsored terrorism," the petition said.

President Obama's administration had initiated the online system for petitioning the White House on important issues. If the petition crosses 100,000 signatures within 30 days of its launch, the government has to respond within 60 days.

White House Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner, said, "Designating a state sponsor of terrorism is a very specific process and determination that involves a legal process and assessment." He further added it was important for Pakistan to target all terrors groups including those that target India.

A similar petition has also been filed to the Indian parliament to declare Pakistan a terror state. Other nations in the South Asian region, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, have also suffered a huge loss of lives by Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

The lives of several American soldiers are lost every year fighting the terrorists in Asia. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, Indian Mujahideen, Haqqani Network, and Jaish-e-Mohammed all have their bases in Pakistan. Most of them are believed to have been backed by the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI.

In August of 2016, Pentagon canceled $300 million in military assistance to Pakistan. Shamila Chaudhary, a former White House official, said, "It is a way of sending a signal to the Pakistani military of what's to come, in the sense that the United States is no longer willing to give blank checks to Pakistan," as reported in Washington Post.

By publicly disclosing the strike, India has made its intention clear, it will take all measures to curb terrorism. Is it time for the U.S. to take strict actions against Pakistan and make it realize it can no longer play both sides, the U.S. and the terrorist networks.

Declaring Pakistan a terrorist state could be the first step. So far there has been no official response by the U.S. Government on the surgical strikes by the Indian Army on the Pakistani terror camps.

[Featured Image by Asianet-Pakistan /Shutterstock]