In a decision that comes as the directors of several US intelligence agencies testify before the Senate about various terrorism-related (and Russia-related) risks facing the US, Reuters is reporting that the Trump administration is moving to place Pakistan on a global watchdog's terrorist-financing watchlist.
Pakistan reportedly said it is "hopeful" it can stave off its inclusion on the list at a meeting next week. The declaration has been in the works virtually since the beginning of the Trump administration, as Trump has accused Pakistan of not doing enough to stop the Afghan Taliban and affiliated Haqqani network - even accusing officials in Islamabad of allowing safe haven to the terrorists.
Of course, such a decision will only push Pakistan, a nuclear power and the world's sixth-most populous country, into the waiting arms of its neighbor, China, which shares a border with the contested regions of Jammu and Kashmir and has been working to strengthen its diplomatic ties with Pakistan as part of its geopolitical chess match against the US, which is explored in this article from Global Research:
As GR explains, one US-led effort to contain China's regional activities has been the formation of a regional "quadrilateral alliance" - or quad - including the US, Australia, Japan and India.
To create a buffer, China has sought to strengthen ties with Islamabad.
The move also comes as China is preparing to launch its first yuan-denominated crude-futures contract during the third week of March - a major blow to the US dollar's hegemonic status as the world's de facto global reserve currency.
BREAKING: U.S. moves to place Pakistan on global watchdog's terrorist-financing watchlist; Pakistan 'hopeful' it can stave off its inclusion at meeting next week pic.twitter.com/8aoiZOPeHO— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 13, 2018
Separately, the decision was also made against a backdrop of escalating tensions between Pakistan and its eternal rival, India. As a dispute over land along the Line of Control (LoC) - a heavily militarized zone in Jammu and Kashmir - has led to the issuance of threats of nuclear war, and the calling of nuclear-war threat bluffs.
The US officially added North Korea to the list last year (for the second time) last year.