Declaring Pakistan state sponsor of terrorism will not help: scholars

WASHINGTON: Declaring Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism will create a situation that will be difficult to reverse, will fail in forcing Islamabad to change its policies and will not help the US cause in Afghanistan.

These were the arguments that all three panelists made this week in a discussion at a Washington think tank — Woodrow Wilson Centre’s Asia Programme — to reject the suggestion.

Labelling a country “a state sponsor of terrorism, is not a surgical instrument, that’s a really, really heavy hammer”, argued Stephen Tankel, an assistant professor at School of Public Affairs, American University, Washington. “The sanctions that come with that pretty much obliterate any chance you have engaging on a whole host of other issues.”

Daud Khattak, Senior Editor, Radio Mashaal, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, also rejected the suggestion because he believed it would be counter-productive. “Let’s declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism today. But what next, if there’s no change? Will you take some more serious steps?” he asked.

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