Counterterror Policy toward South Asia
NOTE: The assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Christina
Rocca, has a problem. Big one. She, defying all logic, cannot help
stop praising her 'client state', Pakistan. How can a state, for
which terrorism is an instrument of its state policy, be an able
able ally in 'war against terrorism'? Perhaps, Rocca can enlighten
the people of the proud Republic of India! Meanwhile, consider one
of her masterpieces, lies and oversight, forming an integral
the events of September 11, 2001, counterterrorism policy has
risen to the top of our priorities worldwide. Around the world, we
have worked closely with friends and allies to limit and where
possible, destroy, the ability of terrorists to act against the
United States and others. Within South Asia itself, since 9/11 we
have helped establish a democratic government, and dismantled the
repressive regime of the Taliban, in Afghanistan. We continue to
support dialogue and peaceful solutions to disagreements in the
region, and oppose the use of violence, whether it be generated by
the Maoists in Nepal, the LTTE in Sri Lanka, or militants in
In the past two
years there have been significant counterterrorism advances in South
Asia. We are working closer than ever with, and getting enormous
support from, President Musharraf and the Government of Pakistan, to
capture or destroy the remaining remnants of al’Qaida or the
Taliban that remain in the region. We have coordinated closely with
Prime Minister Vajpayee and the Indian Government in helping them
respond to the attack in 2001 on the Parliament and the bombings
earlier this year in Mumbai.
Across the region
we are involved in training military or police to better combat
terrorists, and providing military and law enforcement personnel
with the necessary resources to do the job. Our Anti-Terrorism
Assistance in South Asia totaled over $37 million in FY 03. We
continue to share information with these allies, building a security
network, to counter the terrorist network that we are working to
bring down. Together, through the UN 1267 Committee, we block the
financial assets of terrorist groups and individuals, thus limiting
their ability to move money and fund activities. Our tools are
plentiful, and we are using all of them, as appropriate, to destroy
cooperation in counterterrorism efforts has been excellent since
9/11. Despite skeptical public opinion and bitter criticism from a
coalition of opposition parties, President Musharraf has maintained
Pakistan’s policy of supporting U.S. OEF operations, with
Our two nations
have coordinated with intelligence, law enforcement, finance, and
military authorities to successfully apprehend well over 500
suspected al’Qaida and Taliban operatives, to date, including
al’Qaida operational commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and
September 11th conspirator Ramzi bin al-Sheibh.
fourth in the world in the amount of terrorism related assets
frozen, and the Government of Pakistan is working against terror
groups and has recently increased their patrols, operating now in
the mountainous, historically off-limits, Pakistan-Afghan border.
We continue to
monitor actions taken to curb such extremist groups as
Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and others. These groups pose a
serious threat to Pakistan, the region and the United States. We
continue to work with the Government of Pakistan on this challenge.
We look to Pakistan
to do everything in its power to prevent extremist groups operating
from its soil from crossing the Line of Control. The Government of
Pakistan has taken many steps to curb infiltration, but we are
asking it to redouble its efforts.
The United States
supports all these counterterrorism efforts by providing funds for
enhanced border security, including intense training, equipment,
road building and logistics support.
Pakistan’s capacity to interdict terrorists has begun to pay off.
Earlier this month Pakistan forces killed 8 and captured 18
suspected al’Qaida along with foreigners and local tribesmen, on
the Afghan border, followed a week later by detention of 32 people
suspected of collaborating with or harboring Taliban remnants.
Pakistan is bearing its share of the human costs of fighting the war
on terror - over a dozen of its soldiers have been killed in such
India is another
close ally of the United States in the global war on terrorism, and
continues to support our efforts in this area. India’s also a
victim of terrorism, with a tragic attack on its Parliament on
December 13, 2001 and a more recent bombing in Mumbai earlier this
year that killed more than 50.
We are working
closely with the Government of India to help them prevent such
attacks, providing them with better border security systems and
training, and through better intelligence. Increasingly intensive
Indo-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation reflects the closer relations
that the United States seeks across the board with India.
insurgents’ use of terrorist methods to coerce the people and
overthrow the government of Nepal poses a threat to democracy and
stability, and U.S. interests in the region. At the same time,
tensions between the King and the political parties in Nepal have
given the Maoists greater room to maneuver.
On August 27, the
Maoists unilaterally withdrew from a seven-month cease-fire and
peace negotiations, returning to extortion, bombings,
assassinations, and forced recruitment into their military cadre. In
recent weeks we have seen Maoist forces continue to attack security
The United States
Government is helping to address the Maoist threat by focusing our
assistance programs on the root causes of the insurgency –
poverty, corruption, and government inattention – and on
strengthening the ability of the government to respond. We are one
of many countries that together are working to improve the Royal
Nepal Army through security assistance. The United States is
providing 20,000 M-16 rifles to the Nepal military along with other
security equipment and training. Since the U.S. began assisting the
Army, the Maoists have eschewed direct attacks on Army outposts,
instead favoring ambushes on Army patrols and attacks on
infrastructure, civilian targets, and the Armed Police Force. The
U.S. support is paying a dividend, although more help is needed.
2001, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE) have kept a cease-fire and conducted several rounds of
peace negotiations. The United States supports these negotiations in
the hopes of creating a permanent peace and political solution to
the conflict with the LTTE. Towards that end, the international
community, at a donors conference co-chaired by the United States,
recently pledged $4.5 billion in assistance linked to progress in
the peace process.
On October 2, the
USG redesignated the LTTE as an FTO, and made clear that the
designation could be revoked only if the LTTE renounced terrorism
and ceased all terrorist activity.
As in Nepal, the
USG is working to alleviate some of the precursors of this conflict
– poverty and inequality. We continue to support humanitarian and
development efforts in the country.
Across South Asia
the United States continues to work with our allies to limit the
ability of terrorist groups to work and move around. We are
supporting these governments through intelligence sharing where
appropriate, resources and training. We work both bilaterally and
multilaterally with these governments through such organizations as
the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee for terrorist financing, and fully
support the involvement of regional multilateral organizations.
The response we
have received from governments in the region has been exemplary.
However, more still needs to be done. Taliban remnants and
al’Qaida remain hidden along the challenging Pakistan-Afghan
border, too often coming out to attack U.S. forces or the ANA in
Afghanistan. Tensions over Kashmir continue with ongoing violence
across the LOC. The LTTE and the Maoists still pursue violent means
to achieve their ends. Until all these activities stop, we will not
cease in our efforts.
House Committee on International Relations Subcommittees on Asia and
the Pacific, and on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and
Human Rights on October 29, 2003