BY IAN PRICE.
When the United States added Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (TTP-JA), a faction of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), to the terror list in July 2016 following their claim of responsibility for a failed car bombing in Manhattan, it helped to push the group out of the tribal region of Pakistan and into areas that China was eying for their multibillion economic corridor project.
This was part of a larger strategy that eventually created immeasurable headaches for both the security establishment in Islamabad and officials in Beijing, potentially causing billions of dollars in losses for both. Given Washington’s growing acrimonious ties with Pakistan and desire to constrain China’s expansion, this seems a fortuitous coincidence. But was it simply an unplanned consequence of Washington’s war on terror, or a calculated outcome set into motion specifically to keep Pakistan and China in check?
It’s no secret that Pakistan has fallen out of Washington’s good graces in recent times. The current dip in relations culminated in a U.S. bill introduced on September 20 seeking to officially designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. Pakistan has also seen the writing on the wall, allegedly using their networks to disrupt progress in Afghanistan and cozying up to China as a new source for weapons and economic growth.
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