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Editorial: Sanctions against Pakistan needed

Pakistan announced to support the international community in the war against terrorism. The pledge was made at the stage but behind the curtain, Islamabad is still harboring and supporting trans-regional terrorist organizations. The Taliban and Haqqani Network are no exception. These trans-regional insurgent groups have not only attacked civilians and military installations in Afghanistan but also in India, China, Iran, Central Asia and Russia. The list of terrorist groups, enjoying safe havens in Pakistan, is lengthy. However, Taliban, Haqqani Network, al-Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic State, the Turkistan Islamic Party, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammad are notorious and deadliest brigades. They were trained by Pakistani security officials. Islamabad has heavily invested on these groups.

Tired of the double game of Pakistani military established, President Ashraf Ghani urged Islamabad on Monday to eliminate all the hostile forces including the Taliban and Haqqanis. The president was forced to adopt the last option—shut the doors for peace with the militant groups. These two groups denied sitting at the table of talks and bring peace and stability to the country. They are hell-bent on destroying the country and killing innocent people. Pakistan is masterminding and sponsoring these anti-Afghanistan activities. Therefore, the president did a good job by asking Pakistan to eliminate the evil forces or he will take the issue to the UN Security Council.

Although, the current government took too much time in knowing Pakistan but it is not late. The neighboring country has confessed backing the Taliban, but it is not ready to deliver them for peace talks. Afghan militants cannot survive even for a week without Pakistan’s support; let alone launching massive attacks. Thus, the government shall be quick in making decision. If the neighboring country does not handover the militants to Kabul then Afghanistan shall approach the UN Security Council, besides asking the US, Russia and China for sanctions against Pakistan. Sanctions will force the latter to put aside its expansionist designs by eliminating the mercenaries.

Moreover, Afghan officials shall also urge the participants at the sixth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process to issue a joint statement calling on Pakistan to stop supporting militants. The statement shall not only condemn terrorism but also those who are harboring insurgents in their backyard to pursue foreign policy objectives. The meeting will take place on Tuesday (today).

If the global community is serious in eliminating terrorism then it should start from Pakistan. They shall build crippling pressure over Islamabad to eliminate all those non-state actors who are killing people in the region. It is imperative to focus on the Islamic State in Afghanistan because Kabul cannot fight the local insurgent groups and Daesh at the same time. Daesh is spreading like a virus in the region as the Russian special representative to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, pointed out. The envoy said that Daesh wants to attack Central Asia and Russia. If he is right, Moscow shall be the first to impose sanctions on Islamabad if the latter denied taking action against the militant groups.

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