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US shortlists Pakistan's Dirty twenty

US shortlists Pakistan's Dirty twenty

Author: Rajeev Sharma
Publication: Free Press Journal
Date: January 22, 2009.
URL: http://www.freepressjournal.in/FPJ/FPJ/2009/01/22/ArticleHtmls/22_01_2009_001_015.shtml?Mode=1

India is hopeful that its relentless pressure on the US - especially the manner in which New Delhi is trying to work on its all-too-real levers with Pakistan - would yield dividends soon and Washington may shortly announce some concrete measures, including dubbing of some wellknown ISI operatives as sponsors of terrorism.

Sources here told the Free Press Journal on Wednesday that the United States has already shortlisted 20 senior-level operatives of the Inter Services Intelligence and Pakistan Army who have been hobnobbing with the Pakistan-based terror outfits for years. Washington has the names of these officials, serving as well as retired, who have persistently targeted not only India but have also undermined the West-led war in Afghanistan considerably. These officials include the hawkish former ISI Chief Hamid Gul.

What is to be seen is how the new US administration deals with this list. New Delhi also has a similar, though longer, list of former and serving ISI and Pakistan Army officials who have been orchestrating terror at tacks against India and all the 20 names on the American list figure on the Indian list as well.

India would very much like the US to declare these 20 individuals to be declared as sponsors of terrorism. There are indications that the Obama administra tion may come up with some announcement in this regard in near future.

However, one obvious mitigating factor is the adverse impact any such American decision would have on CIAISI relations and its fallout on America's war against terror in Afghanistan.

The Indian sense is that Washington may not blacklist all "the dirty twenty" of Pakistan immediately and may pull the lever on one or two only, to begin with. Even that step would be a welcome move from New Delhi's point of view. The next step would be to obtain a declaration from the United Nations Security Council blacklisting all jihad-promoting individuals and terror outfits in Pakistan as terrorist entities or sponsors of terrorism. One of the priority tasks that the Barack Obama administration is understood to be seized with is a plan of action to rein in all individuals and outfits that are engaged in exporting terrorism to Afghanistan, and, to a lesser extent, to India as well. India had already told the Bush administration what it expected Washington to do to combat terror and the same wish list would be applicable to the Obama administration as well. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has clearly outlined what the international community needs to do on the terror front - the bottomline being that there cannot be two standards for 9/11 and 26/11. The Prime Minister has also spoken about several UN Security Council resolutions under which action can be taken against Pakistan. The first meeting of 116 Indian envoys here on December 22-24 also explored the UN option in detail.

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