Pak playing 'double game', fighting some 'coddling others'

"Although Pakistan has cooperated with the United States in many significant ways, including the fight against terrorism, Americans are increasingly exasperated by the difficulties of the relationship," said Richard Lugar at a Congressional hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"Especially in light of the raid to eliminate Osama bin Laden, who was hiding out for years in Pakistan near Islamabad and military facilities, many critics have accused Pakistan of duplicity, of playing a double game. The event has created, or perhaps exposed, what Pakistan’s prime minister has called 'a trust deficit,'" said the ranking Republican.
Asserting that Pakistan is playing a double game, and is in permanent hostility towards India, he asked Islamabad to cut off all kind of relationship with terrorists and change its policies, or else warned that US would be forced to cut-off aid but also take other tough measures against it.

The Obama Administration should "make it clear to Pakistan's military that going after some terrorists while coddling others will not be tolerated," he underlined.
He said Pakistan must do much more than it has to root out terrorists in Pakistan.
"This includes (targeting) the Haqqani network in northwest Pakistan, which launches attacks against Americans in Afghanistan, and the Taliban, which can find refuge virtually unmolested in those parts of Pakistan along Afghanistan’s southern border," he said.
Lugar said it is time that Pakistanis must recognize that the US does not give out blank checks.

Noting that America’s substantial military aid comes with a requirement that the President certify that Pakistan is making significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their affiliates, Lugar said after the raid against bin Laden, it is an open question whether the President could make that determination.

He said Pakistan "with a sizeable nuclear arsenal" "is in a permanent state of hostility towards India, with which the United States has close relations".

"Pakistan is expanding ties with China, and it borders Iran, a state-sponsor of terrorism with nuclear ambitions," the Senator said.

Lugar along with Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were the key authors of the Kerry-Lugar bill last year that ensures USD 7.5 billion American financial assistance to Pakistan by the US.

He underlined the need for the Obama administration and Pakistan’s leaders, both civilian and military, to take steps to close the trust deficit that exist between them.
Lugar said an independent, credible investigation into who in Pakistan helped support bin Laden would be a good place to start.

This event could lay the foundation for a more genuine alliance if it forces both sides to confront honestly the contradictions that have plagued the relationship for so many years, he noted.

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