Pakistan reluctant to act against Taliban, HQN amid US pressures
AVA- The foreign minister of Pakistan Khwajah Asif has told the Wall Street Journal that Islamabad would not allow the Afghan war to be fought on Pakistan’s soil.
“We have relative calm in Pakistan at the moment,” Asif said. “But if we go against these people [Afghan insurgents], then the war will again be fought on our soil, which will suit the Americans,” he added.
This comes as pressures on the rise on Islamabad to act against the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network, and other terrorists having safe havens in Pakistan.
The US President Donald Trump last week criticized Pakistan in strong words for harboring the terrorist groups despite receiving billions in aid to support the counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than ۳۳ billion dollars in aid over the last ۱۵ years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters on Tuesday that “The administration is withholding $۲۵۵ million in assistance to Pakistan. There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years.”
A senior US State Department official said last week that “We believe that there is significant evidence that leadership of the Haqqani Network resides inside Pakistan and is able to plan and execute from Pakistan attacks inside Afghanistan. So the disagreement is much more about those facts than it is on our overarching goals in the strategy. And we need them to address these sanctuaries in order for us to be able to be enabled to succeed in Afghanistan.”