Washington: US President Donald Trump has asked Pakistan to take “decisive action” against terrorist groups operating from its soil, as he unveiled America’s new National Security Strategy (NSS), reports a foreign news agency.
Mandated by the Congress, Trump released his first NSS, saying, “We have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory. And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help,” Trump said in his remarks as he announced his NSS.
Pakistan has received more than $33 billion from the US since the 9/11 terror attacks. “We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts since no partnership can survive a country’s support for militants and terrorists who target a partner’s own service members and officials,” it said.
The US will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets, the NSS said. The US will continue to partner with Afghanistan to promote peace and security in the region, it said. “We will continue to promote anti-corruption reform in Afghanistan to increase the legitimacy of its government and reduce the appeal of violent extremist organisations,” it added.
The NSS links its efforts to build trade and investment ties with Pakistan with improvement in security. “We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts since no partnership can survive a country’s support for militants and terrorists who target a partner’s own service members and officials,” it said.
The NSS said the prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange remains a key concern requiring consistent diplomatic attention.
On 25 November, the White House asked Pakistan to immediately re-arrest and prosecute Hafiz Saeed, leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba. “If Pakistan does not take action to lawfully detain Saeed and charge him for his crimes, its inaction will have repercussions for bilateral relations and for Pakistan’s global reputation,” the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had said.
Mattis has refused to give necessary certification to Pakistan that it is taking action against Haqqani network, as a result of which blocking several hundred million coalition support funds to Islamabad.
During their series of public appearances at various think tanks in Washington DC and New York, the Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, and its Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi have blamed the Trump administration for simply putting the blame on Pakistan and asking India to “do more” in Afghanistan which is disconcerting for Pakistan.
Both the diplomats insist that there is crises of governance in the US and the White House “being under siege” are affecting ties with South Asia.