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Former US official wants strong sanctions on Pakistan

AT-KABUL: A former U.S. official has said that Trump administration needed to increase its pressure on Pakistan to curb terror financing and interfering in Afghanistan.

Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia David Sedney said bluntly that Pakistan had a significant role to play in violence in Afghanistan and that strong sanctions must levied on Islamabad to decrease its interference in Afghanistan.

Speaking on Afghan war in Washington on Thursday, Sedney said that the White House has sanctioned Pakistan and has put pressure on it, but the pressure did not last for long time.

“We put sanctions, we held back. A coalition support fund which is about a billion dollars a year several times was cut for a period of months. But we always backed off, actually it always stood down. Lesson the Pakistanis learned, you can outweigh the US. So what we are doing right now, this to be continued. That pressure on Pakistan need to be continued, the additional forces that are there, they are not fighting, they are doing advising, doing intelligence, doing air support. They are actually making a big positive difference,” said Sedney.

He said that Pakistan’s military agenda seeks its permanence in insecurity of Afghanistan and that it will not halt using Afghanistan’s soil to its benefit. However, Sydney believed that the new Prime Minister Imran Khan could finally rethink Islamabad’s strategic depth and duplicity towards Kabul.

“The Pakistani so-called deep state or intelligent-military state or whatever it is called, its number one interest is its own survival. And in that case, the use of Afghanistan is a rallying place or the place to put pressure on, not just Afghans, but also on Pakistanis who don’t believe that the military should play this role. It can become very complex,” he said.

Meanwhile, Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to US and Sri Lanka, speaking at the institute said in theory there are two possibilities: the first possibility is that Pakistan really does not support Taliban; the second is that Islamabad is behind everything and wants to benefit from the peace process and political deals.

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