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Editorial: Still in duplicity

The government of Pakistan that was expected by the West, especially the United States to be more cooperative in the fight against terrorism since the US president, Donald Trump, announced his new policy for Afghanistan and the wider region.

The United States had asked Pakistan to do more in helping the international coalition fighting terrorist groups and networks. Pakistan is home to most of the armed groups that are waging war against the Afghan security forces such as Taliban, Haqqani network and the al-Qaeda.

Recently, the US top general in Afghanistan, John Nicholson has said that his country had not seen any significant thing from Islamabad that shows it had changed its behavior in helping the international community.

“I haven’t seen any change yet in their behavior,” Nicholson told reporters after a meeting of the NATO defense ministers held in Brussels when he was asked if he had seen any increased cooperation from Islamabad with regard to eliminating Taliban sanctuaries.

Nicholson added that the international coalition was engaging “at the very highest levels” with Pakistan to work together with them against the terrorists that were undermining the stability of the “entire region”.

After the US warning, Pakistan did something to pretend that it became an honest partner in fighting terrorism. Freeing the US national Caitlan Coleman and her family who were held by the Haqqani network was the only thing that Islamabad made Washington happy.

Though this was a good and humanitarian act to help free a family with children from terrorist captivity, but is not enough and Pakistani authorities are expected to work more to show they are serious and honest in fighting terrorism.

First, Pakistan should close all the sanctuaries and training centers that the terrorist groups are using inside Pakistani territory. Pakistan should also cut its relationships with these groups that are harming the region’s stability.

Trump’s praising remarks for the release of Mrs. Coleman and her family should not be the point to show he is satisfied with Pakistan’s work. Tens of Afghans including women like Coleman and children like hers are losing their lives on daily basis in Afghanistan’s towns and villages due to attacks that are carried out by armed groups who come from Pakistan.

Our security forces that are helped by the US and other international coalition member countries are the victims of terrorist attacks. Terrorists will become stronger day after day and will threaten the region and the US interests if Pakistan does not change its policy.

So, the international community and specially the United States should more pressure Islamabad to join the line of the world campaign against terrorism.

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