The US Pentagon has announced that they will not pay Pakistan $300 Million in promised Coalition Support Funds despite “the sacrifices that the Pakistani military has undertaken” because it is “not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network“. The announcement did not come as a surprise as American officials warned their Pakistani counterparts about it one year ago.
In response, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria has reiterated the position that Pakistan is taking action against all terrorist groups without distinction. However, at the same time Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar reiterated that Pakistan makes a careful distinction between who it terms as ‘terrorists’ and who is considered as ‘freedom fighters’.
There is a difference between terrorism and a freedome movement: Pakistani Interior Minister Ch Nisar at SAARC home minister’s moot in ISB
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) August 4, 2016
This is the point of divergence between Pakistan and US policy. We agree that some groups, like TTP, are terrorists, but other groups, like Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa, we support as ‘freedom fighters’.
It may have been a clever and lucrative strategy to carefully manage appearances about our policies towards certain militant groups, but now that there is no financial benefit it is time to reevaluate the cost of confusion and give a complete explanation of our policies and priorities. By hiding our true intentions, we were giving unnecessary weight to our critics who say that we are playing a double game. If we support Haqqani Network and other militant groups as ‘freedom fighters’, let us at least be open and honest about it and explain our reasoning. What do we have to lose?