Despite the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the United Nations General Assembly, two US lawmakers have moved a Bill in the Congress seeking to designate Pakistan as a State sponsor of terrorism. The ‘Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2016’ is put forward by two Republican legislators Ted Poe and Dana Rohrabacher. The Bill calls upon the US government to give a report on whether Pakistan qualifies as a State sponsor of terrorism.
Backing these views, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has proposed a similar Bill. He has even written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to declare Pakistan a “terror State”. In his letter, the copy of which is available with The Kochi Post, the MP has written, “As the world condemns Pakistan today and US lawmakers have also introduced a bill H.R 6069 or The Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act in the Senate for consideration, the country has your relentless efforts of diplomacy over the last two years to thank for it. However, I wish to draw your attention to the need for the Government of India to also declare Pakistan a terror State.”
A private member’s Bill and a resolution titled ‘Pakistan State Sponsor of Terror’ will be prepared from the MP’s office and presented in the Upper House of Parliament. This is expected to be considered in the Winter Session.
The Bill also seeks to snap all trade, economic and other relations with the neighbouring country. He further wrote, “Pakistan currently enjoys the MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status with India and also has reasonably unfettered travel and economic access.” He added that the Narendra Modi government must terminate these ties and use the economic and trade tools, along with the diplomatic and military options, to segregate Pakistan.
“The Uri terror attack will mark a major reset and milestone for the world with Pakistan,” he added in the letter.
Speaking to The Kochi Post, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “India can and should use its economic and trade strengths in addition to diplomatic and military options to send out a strong and firm message that it intends to change the relation with Pakistan into one where Pakistan is a more responsible and credible neighbour. The Parliament resolution and Bill will also serve as a signal, internally and externally, of the depth of our national resolve and put an end to those that are ambiguous and vague about Pakistan. The use of our economic buttons like repealing Pakistan’s MFN status will also send a strong message to those countries in our region that wittingly or unwittingly support Pakistan. There can be no half measures any more with Pakistan.”
If the private member’s Bill is passed in Rajya Sabha, it would be sent to the lower house for approval and thereafter for the President’s consent. However, yearning for a speedy and effective step from the government’s side, Mr. Chandrasekhar has told the government that the process would be easy if it uses the executive and legislative effectively to do the same.
Main photograph from Facebook.