The US should demand accountability from Pakistan for the activities of all terror networks operating from its soil and should not accept the country's assertions that it is incapable of shutting down groups like Let and HuJI, an eminent American expert has said.
Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation also batted for the continuation of the drone campaign in the Af-Pak border areas, pointing out that the successful killing of the al Qaeda number two Atiyah Abd al Rahman demonstrates the importance of continuing the missile strikes.
“US officials should reject Pakistani assertions that they are incapable of shutting down groups linked to al Qaeda, such as the Lashkar e Taiba, which is responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and the Harakat ul Mujahideen, whose leader was in contact with bin Laden's courier before the May 2 raid," Curtis said.
“Indeed, the US should never settle for Pakistani excuses for avoiding a full-throttle approach against these terrorist groups and instead demand that Pakistan be accountable for the activities of all terrorist groups on its soil,” she said.
However, she said that despite the severe differences that persist with Islamabad, it is in the interest of the US to remain engaged with Pakistani leaders and demonstrate US interest in the development of a prosperous and moderate Pakistan free of the terrorist scourge.
“Pakistani leaders are slowly waking to the costs of tolerating terrorism on their soil, and the US should be in a position to support the state against the terrorists' designs,” said the eminent American scholar.
While noting that Pakistani officials and media have severely criticised the drone missile strikes as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty, Curtis said the US is highly unlikely to relent in its drone campaign since the tactic has proven to be the most effective tool to destroy al Qaeda's leadership and disrupt its ability to plot and train for attacks across the globe.
The elimination of al Rahman - a central operational planner for the organisation is another sign that al Qaeda is weakening, she said.
Curtis pointed out that al Rahman had directed American terrorist Bryant Neal Vinas, who helped al Qaeda with a plot to bomb the New York City subway in 2009, and had also directed terrorist plots in Europe while playing a role in the suicide bombing that killed seven CIA operatives in Afghanistan in December 2009.