Small Wars Journal

A Lesson From the Kashmir Bombing: America Needs to Get Tougher on Pakistan

A Lesson From the Kashmir Bombing: America Needs to Get Tougher on Pakistan by Alyssa Ayres – CNN

A suicide bomber drove a vehicle filled with explosives into an Indian paramilitary convoy in Pulwama, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14. The death toll is at least 40, making it the largest attack in Kashmir in three decades. A Pakistan-based terrorist group, Jaish-e-Muhammad, claimed responsibility through a video released shortly after.

 

That this terrorist group, nominally banned, remains at large in Pakistan illustrates the limitations on US foreign policy tools. It also means the US should put even more pressure on Pakistan, after President Trump began his time in office taking a harder line.

 

A year ago, the Trump administration suspended security assistance to Pakistan as punishment for the country's hosting of terrorist groups that attack Afghanistan. But Pakistan still allows internationally designated terrorists to operate openly and plot attacks on its neighbors, according to the US, India and independent experts. This spells bad news not only for India-Pakistan relations, already at a low and about to sink further, but also for security in South Asia more generally—especially with a negotiation process underway on the US presence in Afghanistan.

 

The resurgence of the nearly two-decade-old Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is frightening. The United States and the UN Security Council designated it as a terrorist organization in 2001. In December 2001 JeM attacked the Indian parliament and raised fears of a full-scale war between India and Pakistan. Its Pakistani leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, founded the group in 2000 after his release from Indian prison in a deal that included around 150 hostages in an Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Taliban-controlled Kandahar the previous year. (One of Mr. Azhar's fellow releasees, Ahmed Omar Saeed Shaikh, lured Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl to his murder in 2002.)…

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