Soon after the killing of Osama bin Laden,the US had warned Pakistan of declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism and making public the findings obtained from al-Qaeda chief’s hideout in Abbottabad linking Islamabad with the terrorist networks,according to a new book.
In his book ‘Magnificent Delusions’,Pakistan’s former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani claims that such a threat was made by the then National Security Council’s Co-coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Lt Gen (rtd) Douglas Lute when he was asked to meet him at the White House on May 12.
The meeting was held less than a fortnight after the daring raid,following which the anti-US sentiment was being fuelled in Pakistan by a vested section in the establishment.
“Lute made a veiled threat: Countries have been design state sponsors of terrorism on less evidence than that available on Pakistan,” Haqqani writes in the book which hit the stores on Tuesday.
US Navy SEALS had found “a whole treasure trove material” at the compound where bin Laden was killed. There were many unanswered questions. Instead of responding to these questions quietly,however,Pakistan was “raising the level of noise.”
If the noise did not stop,Lute said,the US could reveal its findings publicly. Once the role of Pakistan was revealed,the US public and Congress would demand “measures that may go well beyond the past pattern of only cutting off aid,” Haqqani quotes Lute as saying in that meeting.
Later in September,in her meeting with Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly,the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the issue of Islamabad’s support to terrorist organisations,Haqqani writes.
“We know the relationship between the Haqqani network and the Pakistan Army and ISI,” Clinton told Khar.
“The United States believed that Pakistani officials shared intelligence with the network and facilitated movement of its operatives. The Haqqani network moved men and materials across the border,and some of its operatives who moved in just or to the recent attacks were still in Afghanistan awaiting orders. This was not intelligence provided by Afghans or Indians but gathered from many sources,” Clinton explained,” Haqqani writes in the book.
Till date,the US has designated four countries Cuba,Iran,Sudan and Syria – as State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Pakistan fits into this American standard in more than one way. It provides physical safe haven and ideological support to members of terrorist groups that are designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisation by the US (Lashkar-e-Toiba,Hizbul Mujahideen etc); and for continuing to permit US fugitives and terrorists designated by the UN to live in the country (Bin Laden,Dawood Ibrahim etc.).