Vastavam web: America’s security aid to Pakistan “will be conditioned” on the steps Islamabad takes against terrorist groups such as the Taliban and the Haqqani network, a senior Trump administration official has said.”There have been long standing relationships between the Pakistani intelligence officials and these terrorist groups.His comments came days after US President Donald Trump hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists.
“We will be able to see when these changes start to happen. They (might) not become immediately apparent to the public, but we’re confident that when Pakistan takes the steps we’re asking it to do, we’ll know it and we’ll be able to assess. And so, our security aid will be conditioned on the steps that we expect them to take against, in particular, the Taliban-Haqqani Network,” the official said on condition of anonymity.”It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to give exact timelines that we’re dealing in. But, certainly there is an expectation that we’ll start to see some changes in the very near future,” the official said when asked if the Trump administration has set a time line for progress in action being taken by Pakistan against the terrorist groups.
The official was responding to a series of question on the statements coming out of Pakistan, which are generally in strong opposition to the Trump s South Asia strategy.”I think the President was very clear that we are going to take a different approach to that stand. There’s a lot of frustration (in the US) with the continued safe havens in Pakistan. But we believe there is hope for greater cooperation from Pakistan on these issues. It’s Pakistan’s choice.”We’re not going to talk about the precise steps that the US is considering with regard to its relationship with Pakistan. We’ll reserve that for our private discussions on Pakistan. We’ll just simply say that it’s extremely important to this administration that Pakistan take tangible steps against the groups that continue to support attacks against US service members and US officials in Afghanistan,” the official said, adding that the US will be working very closely with Pakistani officials to achieve that objective.Ahead of the US visit, Asif is scheduled to travel to China, Russia and Turkey to hold meetings with their leaders on the Trump s South Asia policy.