It was only days ago that a legislator in Pakistan’s National Assembly led prayers for Osama bin Laden. While that shocked some of his fellow lawmakers, this resolution was unanimous. Rest assured that by threatening “sanctions,” they’re not going to deprive America or Britain of their number-one export in recent years — jihadists. But they are again threatening to close a NATO supply line to demonstrate their indignation.
Imagine if they directed all of the time and effort they expend stonewalling and playing games with the West to show they are “in control” instead against fighting the jihadists in their midst in earnest. Then again, for Pakistan, it is abundantly clear that doing so would pose a conflict of interest, particularly for their projects in Kashmir and against India.
“Pakistan’s parliament condemns U.S. raid, threatens sanctions,” from CNN, May 14:
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistan’s parliament threatened Saturday to cut off access to a facility used by NATO forces to ferry troops into Afghanistan, signaling a growing rift that began when U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on a Pakistani compound.
A resolution adopted during a joint session of parliament condemned the U.S. action. It also called for a review of its working agreement with the U.S., demanded an independent investigation and ordered the immediate end of drone attacks along its border region.
Failure to end unilateral U.S. raids and drone attacks will force Pakistan to “to consider taking necessary steps, including withdrawal of (the) transit facility” used by the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, according to the resolution.
U.S. lawmakers have questioned how the world’s most wanted terrorist managed to live in plain sight for years in Pakistan — near the country’s elite military academy — without being detected.
Pakistani and U.S. intelligence officials have said there is no evidence that any active members of Pakistan’s military or intelligence establishment knew about or actively protected the al Qaeda leader.
Publicly, leaders in both countries have downplayed a rift.
During a stop in Afghanistan Saturday, U.S. Sen. John Kerry stressed that Americans want Pakistan to be “a real ally” in combating terror. Still, he added, the United States is “not trying to find a way to break the relationship apart.”
“We’re trying to find a way to build it and to improve it and we need to work at that and that’s part of what I’ll be doing over the course of the next couple of days,” said Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who also planned to visit Pakistan.
The unanimous resolution made clear there was a growing dissatisfaction among Pakistani lawmakers.
The resolution also ordered a review of its counter-terrorism cooperation agreement with the United States.
The government is deeply “distress(ed) on the campaign to malign Pakistan, launched by certain quarters in other countries without appreciating Pakistan’s determined efforts and immense sacrifices in combating terror,” the resolution said.
How many Pakistani lives have been lost due to Pakistan’s selective approach, resisting jihadists here, cultivating and attempting to use them as leverage there? That would be a question for their paid lobbyists.