While American Congress authorising up to $700 million in Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to reimburse Pakistan for US operations in Afghanistan is a good step, the amount of restrictions and conditions attached to it make it look like a Trojan horse in disguise.

The authorisation is part of the text of the House and Senate versions of the 2018 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA-2018), which makes $350m of $700m available to Pakistan under the CSF contingent upon certification from the secretary of defence that Pakistan is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani network.

While steps for accountability are important, any such plan should be in diplomatic language and not contain restrictions which could comprise dignity of a state. The plan specifies that the amount will only be released after certification of the defence department, would include a declaration that Pakistan was making an attempt to coordinate with Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants along the border, and was arresting and prosecuting operatives of the Haqqani network. More damaging perhaps was that the version of the plan pondered on the regional problem of Pakistan, expressing concern about the alleged persecution of various political or religious groups.

Admittedly, there have been several weaknesses and contradictions in Pakistan’s policies, but the recent international pressure of deeming Pakistan “guilty until proven otherwise” has created an air of distrust and isolation in Pakistan. It cannot be denied that Pakistan has suffered and committed itself to fighting terrorism and the US policy of seeing Pakistan as a naughty child and involving India as a parent, is not conducive in creating an environment for all powers to work together. The recent backing by NATO of US efforts to persuade Pakistan against terrorism does not help either from Pakistan feeling chided.

Pakistan is ready to commit against terrorism, but it will not comprise its dignity, as evidenced by ISPR statement on Tillerson’s visit, that while accepting the demands of USA to do more against terrorists, Pakistan will not compromise on its national interests.