`Targeted sanctions against ISI officials needed`
Washington: Alleging that Pakistan Army and its intelligence have actively funded and trained elements that have attacked US troops in Afghanistan, an eminent Indian-American expert has said that Washington needs to start looking at targeted sanctions against top ISI officials.
"Pakistan puts us in an awkward position because we know how to be friends and we know how to be adversaries. But this sort of in-between stage where Pakistan is technically an ally of sorts, but in fact, its population is extremely hostile to the US and its Army and its intelligence agencies in fact have actively funded and trained elements that have attacked US troops in Afghanistan," said columnist Sadanand Dhume.
Dhume, who is a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based eminent American think-tank, made the remarks in response to a question during a Congressional hearing on South Asia convened by the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"It`s problematic. I think drones are part of the solution, but they`re not the whole solution. We have to be looking at things like targeted sanctions at top ISI officials," Dhume told lawmakers.
"So more sticks, but they have to be smaller sticks than the ones that we`ve had traditionally," Dhume said.
In his remarks, Congressman Brad Sherman, Ranking member of Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade Subcommittee, alleged that Pakistan is the most problematic and least stable of the world`s current nuclear states, excepting North Korea, and is one of the great intractable problems and difficult situations that we face in diplomacy.
"If we could create a peace between India and Pakistan, a lasting peace, then the Pakistani military could no longer claim its outsized role and would have to assume a role consistent with Pakistan`s economy and population rather than a role the size or as close as they can get to the size of the Indian military and that would be very important to bringing back Pakistan democracy and stability," Sherman said.
Dhume said role of Pakistan in the region is that of a spoiler.
"In a nutshell, the role of Pakistan in the pivot, could play the role of a spoiler by essentially destabilizing the two countries on its border.... And the use of jihadist proxies, as it has done in the past." he said.
"The US role in South Asia, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, remains important mostly to ensure that Pakistan does not play that role of a spoiler, does not turn India westward, looking at its core immediate domestic security concerns caused by things such as terrorism," Dhume said.
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