The US State Department’s Terrorism Report is self-contradictory and selective as it blames Pakistan for subversive incidents in Afghanistan and India, instead of admitting its own failure in Afghanistan and ignoring Indian role in creating unrest in Pakistan and its aggression on innocent Muslims of occupied Kashmir.
It has been the policy of the US to take credit for peace and blame others for terrorism, while it is behind unrest in most countries of the world, from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria to Yemen and Iraq. The whole world knows Jammu and Kashmir is a regional and international dispute and UN resolutions accept Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. When India uses force to change the special status of the valley and martyrs innocent Kashmiris struggling for their legitimate right, the US looks the other way. The same is the policy in Palestine. It shamelessly ignores Israeli aggression against innocent Palestinians.
The US report blames Pakistan for “continuing to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups. It allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, as well as groups targeting India, including LeT and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM, to operate from its territory.” Ignoring Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir and indigenous freedom fighters, it claims: “Pakistan took modest steps in 2019 to counter terror financing and to restrain some India-focused militant groups following the February attack on a security convoy in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir claimed by Pakistan-based JeM. Thus far, however, Islamabad has yet to take decisive actions against Indian- and Afghanistan-focused militants who would undermine their operational capability. The Pakistani government also played a constructive role in U.S.-Taliban talks in 2019. Pakistan’s progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan to counter terrorism remains unfulfilled – specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay and discrimination.”
Noting that Pakistan also experienced significant terrorist threats in 2019, although the number of attacks and casualties was lower than in 2018, the report blames militant groups for targeting people and security forces in Balochistan and Sindh provinces. “Major terrorist groups focused on conducting attacks in Pakistan included Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP or Pakistani Taliban) and ISIS-K. Terrorists used a range of tactics to attack individuals, markets, police checkpoints, and places of worship, including IEDs, VBIEDs, suicide bombings, and targeted assassinations.”
In contrast, the US highlights its “achievements” in Afghanistan. “The United States partners with Afghanistan in a bilateral CT (counterterrorism) effort through Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The U.S. military, along with 38 other Coalition nations, also supports the ANDSF through the NATO Resolute Support “Train, Advise, and Assist” mission. In 2019, the Taliban and the affiliated HQN increased terrorist attacks targeting Afghan civilians, government officials, and members of the international community. Additionally, ISIS-K continued to attack civilians and especially targeted religious minorities. The enemy-initiated attack trend in 2019 defied its usual seasonal pattern; while in most years, such attacks decrease in cold-weather months, they remained consistently high following the summer fighting season. ISIS-K, elements of al-Qa’ida, including affiliate AQIS, and terrorist groups targeting Pakistan, such as TTP, continued to use the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region as a safe haven. Afghanistan is also the only member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS from South and Central Asia.”
Ignoring Indian atrocities on Muslims of occupied Kashmir, the report claims, “India suffered terrorist attacks in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the northeastern Indian states, and parts of central India. The Government of India continued to apply sustained pressure to detect, disrupt, and degrade terrorist activities within its borders. Prime Minister Modi and other senior Indian leaders made numerous statements to condemn domestic terrorist attacks and bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism, in cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries. The United States and India increased CT cooperation in 2019.”
Bulldozing the narrative of India and the US on occupied Kashmir, US Democratic Presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden has denounced New Delhi’s legislation on minorities and unlimited restrictions in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In a policy paper “Joe Biden’s agenda for Muslim-American Communities” posted on his campaign website, he asked the Indian government to take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. “Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weaken democracy,” Joe Biden remarked. Expressing disappointment over the measures taken by the Indian government for the implementation of the NRC in Assam and the CAA, Joe Biden said, “These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”
The US report is an attempt to undermine Pakistan’s contributions to the global fight against terrorism. Pakistan lost almost 80,000 lives and $150b loss to its economy during the war. It is still paying the price of US failures in Afghanistan. The US report is rife in paradoxes. It takes pride in making “major strides to defeat and degrade international terrorist organizations with the help of partners” while the fact of the matter is that it was behind all international conflicts.
It blames Pakistan for terrorism in Afghanistan and India and in the same breath it accepts Pakistan is attacked by terrorists from Afghan soil. As the US accuses Pakistan of creating unrest in Afghanistan, it also appreciates it for a peace process in the war-torn country. It accepts the presence of homegrown militant groups in India and Afghanistan, yet it blames Pakistan for terrorism in the two countries. The paradoxes show a futile effort by the US to cover up its blunders in the region.