Washington: Former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad alleged on Friday, that it is the military and the ISI in Pakistan that decide the key foreign and national security policies and not Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Answering about the political vacuum in Pakistan following Nawaz Sharif’s ill-health, Khalilzad told reporters, “There is a vacuum clearly, but on critical issues of national security I think the PM’s role, as the case has been with other civilian leaders, is very limited. It is the military and ISI that decide the key foreign and national security policies.”
The Former U.S. Diplomat also showed a strict stance against Pakistan by saying that Washington should suspend all assistance to Pakistan, until it changes its policy of ‘supporting terrorism’.
“All assistance from the U.S. to Pakistan needs to be suspended including, assistance from multinational originations such as IMF, till Pakistan changes its policy on support for extremism and terror” said Khalizad.
Khalilzad also pointed out that there have been some changes in the U.S. policy towards Islamabad, in terms of reduction of assistance including the Washington’s refusal to subsidize the deal of F-16 jets to Pakistan.
Khalizad further said “U.S. should work with other countries to get them to cut off assistance to Pakistan and US should use its voting rights and influence on IMF not to renew support for Pakistan.”
The former diplomat added that Islamabad needs to be fearful of becoming the next North Korea, implying its isolation from the world.
“Pakistan has to be threatened with prospect for becoming another North Korea and isolated from the world. That might help Pakistan reconsider its approach” said Khalizad.
He also mentioned that there are people in Pakistan who understand that the country needs to change its policies.
Khalilzad said “There are some voices in Pakistan saying they are too isolated in the world and we need to change our policies. I hope …that Pakistan will listen to those voices.”
Replying about a question on Pakistan’s inaction against Hafiz Saeed and asking for more evidence for the 26/11 attacks even after India provided many evidences, Khalizad said, “That is a mistake by Pakistan. India and US should speak and co-operate each other against terrorism.”
He also appreciated the move by the U.S. to put the Indian head of Al Qaeda on the global terrorist list.
Khalilzad called upon India to play a bigger role in combating terrorism and said there is enormous potential for further strengthening relationship between the two countries.