Islamabad: Pakistan is bartering and bargaining information about High-Value Targets as the country has its own domestic compulsions like financial challenges or pressure from anti-terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF), media reports said.

Last week, a US drone targeted Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and as per the reports the intel about the FBI most wanted terrorist was provided by Pakistan. However, it is not for nothing. There lie Pakistan’s hopes that in times of need US will come to the aid of the nation which is in a deep mess when it comes to its economy.

Zawahiri’s killing is another reminder that just like the killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, Pakistan had provided close support to the United States this time as well. Pakistan is known for a “walk-in” selling information proposal about High-Value Targets but one thing is quite clear whenever it has done so, it has always bartered and bargained, reported Islam Khabar.

According to the media portal, Pakistan adopts this kind of tactic mostly under two scenarios. First is if Pakistan is trapped in an economic crisis or if they have pressure from FATF. The second scenario is when they know that the ‘target’ in demand is redundant and obsolete for them.

The only word which can be used for this kind of help to US on the basis of its own self-interests is essentially double-dealing. Pakistan has played out this tactic several times. The country has done this even to escape international pressure like in the case of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, when it held the masterminds of the attack, only to be released later.

However, it must be pointed out that this Pakistani duplicity apparently threatens regional stability. This kind of attitude only exposes that Islamabad is nurturing some of the most wanted terrorists and shielding them from those who demand justice, even as these terrorists persist in their activities.

The world must be cautious of its approach toward Pakistan to avoid breeding of more terrorists like Laden and Zawahiri.

On July 31, 2022, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US airstrike in Kabul. He was living in a safehouse owned by a top aide of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Interior Affairs minister of the Taliban regime.

Another point of suspicion is the meeting between Chief of Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Director of Central Intelligence Agency, William J Burns.

Pakistan is anxious about the upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in October 2022, and is desperate to get out of the grey list. Its economy is in the doldrums. Islamabad is desperate for support from America and remains in its good books. And it is no happen stance that soon after the killing of Zawahiri, on August 2, 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to release the seventh and eighth tranches of a USD 6 billion loan to Pakistan.[5]

While the al-Qaeda helped Pakistan to promote its geopolitical interests, its continued presence in the Af-Pak theatre had become a liability for Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Similar has been the case with Afghan Taliban.

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