Well, the British Prime Minster, David Cameron, does not want to apologise or retract his statement made on the status of Pakistan as a terrorist state. It is a troubled state for long….we all know…due to absence of democracy and it being a breeding ground for terrorism and market for weapons. No doubt, the British PM’s statement was incriminating but it stated the fact of helplessness and poor governance in our neighbouring (sic!) country Pakistan.
In an instant knee-jerk reaction, the scheduled trip by the ISI Chief to Britain was cancelled though the bigger event of visit by Pak President Asif Ali Zardari is on track. There is not much choice for Zardari as he would like to maintain relations and seek support from the western allies. One never knows…when he may require external support as the nascent democracy is not succeeding in his country and can be overthrown. What Cameron said is nothing different from what the US secretary of State Hillary Clinton said – in fact she went on record commenting that the elements in Pakistan know well…where Osama Bin Laden is?
Afghanistan and NATO players in Afghanistan need Pakistan’s support to sustain their efforts to remove terrorist camps in Afghanistan and bring back normalcy. Also, they (NATO and the western allies) know that ISI is strongly linked to Taliban. It is a very complicated situation – democracy needs to be sustained in Af-pak area or else radicalised ‘special interest’ groups will overpower the fledgling democracies! So, a fruitless and thankless relationship has to be maintained with Pakistan by the western allies and neighbouring India. US cannot cut off aid to Pakistan or even embargo any supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan. It is clear that US depends on Pakistan and cannot afford to create long-term threat of radicalised terror.
In light of these problems in the state of Pakistan – it becomes very difficult to engage in anything other than diplomacy. As an alternative, US and UK can start a dialogue with Tehran and Moscow so as to reduce its dependence on Islamabad. Needless to say, complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan or Pakistan will not meet the objective of removing or control the terrorist activities in these problematic countries.