“For too long has Pakistan provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organisations, but those days are over. President Trump has put Pakistan on notice. As the President said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”
Bravo. We can only hope that these don’t prove to be empty words. Pakistan for years has collected billions from the U.S. in order to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and has given much of it to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. How long must the U.S. be played for a fool in the spurious interests of realpolitik?
“‘Trump has put Pakistan on notice,’ US VP Pence warns in surprise Kabul visit,” by Anwar Iqbal, AFP, December 22, 2017:
United States (US) Vice President Mike Pence during a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Friday issued a warning to Pakistan that it has allegedly provided safe haven to terrorists for too long but those days are over now, as President Donald Trump has now “put Pakistan on notice.”
This is so far the harshest US warning to Pakistan since the beginning of the Afghan war more than 16 years ago and follows several recent statements, indicating US indignation with Islamabad.
The US vice president made the remarks as he addressed US troops at the Bagram airfield, becoming the most senior Trump administration official to visit the men and women fighting America’s longest-ever war.
Pence’s remarks earned wild applause from the 15,000 US troops who were excited to see the vice president among them on a surprise Christmas visit.
“For too long has Pakistan provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organisations, but those days are over,” Pence told the troops.
He reiterated word for word President Donald Trump’s warning that Pakistan must stop offering cross-border safe havens to Taliban factions and armed militant groups fighting US troops and their Afghan allies.
“President Trump has put Pakistan on notice. As the President said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists,” the US VP added.
In August, President Trump outlined a new strategy to win America’s longest war.
The new US strategy for Afghanistan shows that Pakistan’s strategic position stokes Washington’s desire for a close relationship with Islamabad but it also undermines the relationship between the two countries.
This key element in the US approach to Pakistan is highlighted in the national security strategy that President Trump released this week and also in the Pentagon’s latest report to Congress on the situation in Afghanistan.
The national security strategy questions Pakistan’s ability to protect its nuclear assets, asks it not to indulge destabilising behaviour in Afghanistan reminds and insist that Islamabad is obliged to help Washington in Pakistan because it receives “massive payments” every year….