Political risk consultancy Eurasia has that warned there were risks of being on the list of the Muslim-majority nations on President Donald Trump’s travel ban were being faced by Pakistan and the country therefore must do more to combat homegrown terrorism or risk joining the list.
“Pakistan’s continuing loss of influence with the [U.S.] executive branch and Congress could result in some form of economic and travel sanctions,” said analysts Sasha Riser-Kositsky and Shailesh Kumar in a Thursday note.
“A senior White House official already suggested that Pakistan could be included on a list of terrorism-wracked countries whose citizens are now temporarily banned from entering the U.S.”
The fact that the South Asian nation wasn’t included on Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order has caused surprise among a section of policy experts. Various militant groups and those motivated by sectarianism have been active and often alleged to be working from Pakistan soil and the the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has long faed such allegations. Among the notable such groups and organizations, names such as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, or ISIS, are among the most prolific.
With the U.S. being Pakistan’s largest export destination, in areas of security, energy and investment, Washington and Islamabad share a multi-faceted relationship. Trump was “willing to play any role” to help “fantastic Pakistan”, the U.S. President reportedly told Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a phone call in December last year.
Riser-Kositsky and Kumar said that particularly the Haqqani network that’s closely associated with the state intelligence agency, bilateral ties will worsen if Sharif doesn’t reign in local radical cells because the White House is committed to fighting Islamic terrorism.
The y further said that Trump would likely to punish Islamabad if individuals related to Pakistan are blamed for another terrorist attack on American soil.
“Indeed, it was after the late 2015 San bernadino shootings, perpetrated by a couple with deep links to Pakistan, that then candidate Trump announced his support for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.”
The analysts said that the conditions that Islamabad should seriously combat the Haqqani network or else almost half, or $400 million of the $900 million of the U.S. Coalition Support Fund aid to Pakistan budgeted for 2017 is would be forfeited and this is a loss of these funds would certainly hurt Pakistan’s widening current account and fiscal deficits
A recent example of poor governance is the capture of Hafiz Saeed, the accused mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Pakistani government won’t seriously pursue him given the popularity of his Islamic charity, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Eurasia warned even though Islamabad placed Saeed under house arrest this week.
(Adapted from CNBC)