Washington: Pakistan`s handling of recent terrorism cases and its dealings with the Afghan Taliban have done little to inspire the trust Pakistani officials seek, a noted American expert on South Asia said on Friday.
"Pakistan maintains links with the Afghan Taliban as well as deadly militant groups, such as the Haqqani network, that are responsible for some of the fiercest attacks against coalition soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan," Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation said reacting to news reports that Pakistan`s spy agency ISI has demanded end to drone attacks.
Curtis said Pakistani intelligence officials are seeking to take advantage of the Raymond Davis episode to gain leverage in their dealings with the US.
But the Obama Administration must remain committed to US counterterrorism goals in the region and continue to pursue policies in Pakistan that prioritize protecting the US homeland from additional terrorist strikes, she said.
"Rather than seeking to change US counterterrorism objectives in the region, Pakistan should propose strategies for jointly tackling the threat," Curtis said.
Noting that the trial of Pakistani-American David Headley, arrested in 2009 for involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, is set to resume in the middle of next month, she said the disclosures that come to light during that trial are sure to raise more questions about Pakistan`s relationship with the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
"To avoid further international embarrassment over the issue, Pakistan must take action against the perpetrators of the attacks. Punishing the perpetrators would be the best way to quell accusations of official Pakistani involvement in the
attacks," she said.
Curtis alleged that Pakistan has failed to take substantive action against LeT, responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166, including six Americans.
"Pakistan has dragged its feet on trying and prosecuting seven LeT members who are widely believed to be behind the Mumbai carnage that it took into custody over two years ago. In fact, one of the alleged ringleaders of the attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, had been instructing LeT operatives while in Pakistani custody, raising questions over whether the Pakistanis were protecting rather than prosecuting him," she added.