If the past is any guide, the efforts are merely eyewash to placate Western governments in the wake of major terror attacks emanating from Pakistani soil. Pakistan has claimed it has shut down JuD offices and detained its top leaders in the past, only to allow the offices to reopen and the leaders free months later.
If Pakistan was sincere about tackling terrorists groups and their leaders and operatives, Khalil would be at the top of the target list. Instead, he has been welcomed with open arms into Imran Khan’s political party.
For years, Pakistani officials and military commanders have denied the existence of terrorist groups operating on Pakistani soil, and concurrently claimed that they are taking action against the same non-existent terrorist groups.
The State Department announced today that it is offering a $1 million reward for information on Hamza bin Laden’s whereabouts. Hamza is the genetic and ideological heir of al Qaeda’s founder and he has been groomed for a leadership position within the organization.
Khan’s claim that “our [Pakistani] soil is not used for carrying out terrorist attacks in other countries” is remarkably similar, if not identical to the Afghan Taliban’s false assurances that it won’t allow its territory to be used by terror groups.
The attack is the deadliest in decades for a region fraught with constant, often violent, struggles. Jaish-e-Mohammad is part of a syndicate of terror groups allied with al Qaeda and supported by the Pakistani state.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan will have consequences. The Taliban and al Qaeda will declare victory, while the US will find it harder to hunt terrorists throughout the region.
The Taliban is more than happy to negotiate the terms of US withdrawal — but if and only if an accord is reached on its terms. Because if a so-called peace agreement can be reached, you can be sure it will be one that will not benefit the Afghan people, the US, or the region.