Pakistan continues to sponsor terror outfits that launched deadly attacks in India because Islamabad has "paid no price for its perfidy", a prominent think-tank expert has told American lawmakers. "Pakistan continues to sponsor terrorist groups that launched deadly attacks in India. It has paid no price for its perfidy," Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing early this week.
"We must continue to combat state sponsors of terror and make hard decisions about countries such as Pakistan," he added. Referring to Pakistan's "unwavering support" to the Taliban, much to the detriment of the US in Afghanistan, Roggio also disapproved the US move to withdraw troops from there.
"Its support for the Taliban has been unwavering and is leading us to defeat in Afghanistan. I would argue that we have already lost Afghanistan. We are merely attempting to negotiate the terms of our exit," he told the members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism. The United States disengaging itself from the battlefronts would lead to an easy victory of its enemies, he cautioned.
"As our enemies have expanded their base of operations and remain committed to the fight, our will has faltered," he said. "This is a long war and commitment is key. If we hope to end this threat, we must renew our commitment and to present a united front," he asserted.
In his deposition to the panel, Roggio called for "hard decisions" by the US. "We must rethink our goals and strategy and recognise our enemies' goals and strategy. We have to figure out a way to effectively fight our enemies both in the military sphere and the sphere of ideas," he said.
Iran, which alongside Pakistan, is amongst the biggest state sponsors of terrorism, also seeks to establish an Islamic state, he said. "It backs loyal militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. These militias are organised and trained along the same lines as has been law. The long-term impact of these militias is still not fully understood," said the anti-terror strategy and security expert.
While Iran primarily backs Shia groups, it has openly battled the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and is not opposed to forming alliances with Sunni jihadists, said Roggio. "This secret deal was documented by the US Treasury Department in 2011 and several times since. Pakistan also continues to harbour numerous terrorist groups and uses them as a tool of its foreign policy," Roggio said.
(With inputs from agencies.)