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Editorial: Nipping terrorism

The deadliest attack in the history of the capital city after fall of the Taliban regime would continue to haunt the nation for years. The nation is still mourning because the tragedy is unforgettable. Massive loss of life is a shock, hard to recover from. Around 64 innocent people were murdered in cold-blood on Tuesday and 347 others sustained serious injuries. The attack carried out by Pakistan-based Haqqani Network is a slap on the face of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group. The four-nation group, comprising of Pakistan, the United States, China and Afghanistan, has failed to comply with the commitments that it had made.

Soon after its formation, the coordination group vowed to take action against all those Afghan militant groups who continue killing people by not agreeing to negotiate with the Afghan government. The roadmap is clear regarding the Afghan-owned peace process. However, there is lack of sincerity. Those who claim to be against terrorism in Afghanistan are supporting Haqqani Network, the Taliban and other militant factions. All the three members of the group know who are backing these deadly non-state actors, but there is no action in sight against this sponsor of terrorism and militancy. Not only the US and Afghanistan but China also suspects sincerity of Pakistan in facilitation of the reconciliation process.

Only condemnations and statements from the regional and global players would not placate the situation. The US and China shall go beyond issuing statements and press Pakistan hard to eliminate militants. Islamabad is still pursuing the policy of strategic depth and investing heavily on Afghan insurgents to keep Afghanistan busy in the conflict. Therefore, there is need for action against Islamabad to isolate the Taliban and Haqqani Network. For many, the statement of Director of Press Office for the US State Department, Elizabeth Trudeau, will be a blessing in disguise, but it would not heal wounds of Afghans or bring peace to the war-ravaged country. The US shall cut its military and financial assistance to Pakistan in order to give a push to the snail-paced Afghan peace process.

Similarly, the Beijing leadership shall also press Islamabad hard to support Afghan government in its quest for durable peace and stability. China shall halt work on the economic corridor in Pakistan till the latter brings positive shift in its stance regarding terrorism. Reluctance of Beijing to do so will hamper the One Road One Belt project of China. It is also necessary to end extremism in China because Haqqani Network has links with Uighur militants.

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