Ted Poe, a Republican Congressman (R-TX), has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives proposing that the nuclear-armed Pakistan should be declared a state sponsor of terrorism.
Congressman Ted Poe was a co-sponsor of a similar bill in September last year which died in Congress. The other sponsor of the bill was Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who has a history of opposition to Pakistani policies but has not always been successful in achieving his objectives.
"Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years," said the Republican from Texas who heads the House's subcommittee on terrorism and non-proliferation.
""From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it's not America's. It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism," Poe said while introducing the bill, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2017, in Congress on March 9, 2017.
The bill requires the US President to issue a report within 90 days, answering the allegation that Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism. Thirty days after that, the Secretary of State is required to submit a follow-up report, concluding that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism, or a detailed justification as to why it does not meet the legal criteria for such a designation.
Tellingly, the then-Interior Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik said in September 2011 that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States, not Pakistan, created the Haqqani network and trained its members. Malik said that the Haqqani network was present in Afghanistan and that those claiming otherwise should provide evidence of its presence in Pakistan.
Jalaluddin Haqqani commanded the so-called Mujahideen militants from 1980 to 1992, he is credited with recruiting foreign fighters, according to Wikipedia. Two notable jihadist are well known Arabs, Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden, both of whom began their careers as volunteers for the Haqqanis and trained to fight the Soviets. Haqqani reportedly died because of illness in 2015.
According to US military commanders, it is "the most resilient enemy network" and one of the biggest threats to the U.S.-led NATO forces and the Afghan government in the current war in Afghanistan. Presently, the United States is offering a reward for information leading to the capture of their leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani (son of Jalaluddin Haqqani), in the amount of five million US dollars.
In September 2012, the Obama administration declared that the network is a foreign terrorist organization. After this announcement, the Taliban issued a statement saying that there is "no separate entity or network in Afghanistan by the name of Haqqani" and that Jalaluddin Haqqani is a member of the Quetta Shura, Taliban's top leadership council.
It will not be too much to say that Hindu lobby in America has become very active after the election of ultra-Hindu nationalist leader Narendar Modi as prime minister in May 2014, while Modi has adopted a bigheaded attitude towards Pakistan.
In October 2016, the White House stopped accepting signatures for a petition of the Indian Americans that sought to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, saying it has been archived as it did not meet the "signature requirements."
The announcement by the White House came days after the petition gained a record half a million signatures, five times the number needed to get a response from the Obama Administration.
The petition was created on September 21, 2016, by a person who identified himself with the initials RG and the petition needed 1,00,000 signatures in 30 days to get a response from the White House.
The benchmark was reached in less than a week, and in less than two weeks, the petition acquired more than half a million signatures.
An initiative of the US President Barack Obama, "We the People," an online petition at the White House website, provides a window in which American citizens can join campaigns addressed to the administration on a particular issue.
Interestingly, the anti-Pakistan petition came a day after Congressman Ted Poe, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), introduced HR 6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, in the House of Representatives. Simultaneously the US-India Political Action Committee launched an unsuccessful nationwide effort to canvass Indian Americans to gain their local legislators' support to HR 6069. However, the bill died in the Congress.
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