AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Trump administration on Friday warned of taking actions on its own to safeguard its personnel in Afghanistan, accusing Pakistan of failing to take decisive steps against terrorist groups.
“Six months after the announcement of the South Asia Policy by President Donald Trump, Pakistan has failed to take the kind of decisive actions that the US is seeking,” a senior administration official told a group of reporters.
“We are still seeking actions from Pakistan that we have not seen. We are continuing to look for real actions and not word on the Taliban and the Haqqani sanctuaries,” the official said.
While demanding cooperative action against terrorist, the US was prepared to take necessary steps to protect its personal in Afghanistan, the official said, indicating the time was running out fast for Pakistan to act.
The official, however, did not give a timeline. However, he did say it was bounded by the time limit that kicked in the Congress on a number of financial and security assistance to Pakistan.
About the series of terrorist attacks in Kabul coming from across the Durand Line, the official said there should be a sense of urgency on the part of Pakistan to take action.
“It’s Pakistan choice in which direction it wants to take the future of the relationship,” he said, adding the US was still engaging Pakistani leaders and wanted address some of Islamabad’s concerns.
President Donald Trump was constantly monitoring progress on his South Asia policy, the official noted, alleging Pakistan was taking bare minimum action against terrorist groups.
“President has made it clear that he is not satisfied with the action taken by Pakistan. We have communicated clear to Pakistan to what we mean by decisive action,” the official said.
Stressing the elimination of terrorist safe havens from Pakistan, the official claimed Islamabad wanted to be responsive to the US request. The US continued to send specific requests for actions against terrorist groups, the official added.
On deadline questions, the official said the US was in discussion with Pakistan. “We do not talk in terms of deadlines,” the official said.
Pakistan understood the way the America appropriations were set up and there were deadlines with regard to assistance. These Congressional deadlines will sometime kick in.
“We need to sustain the pressure. Any sense that the pressure is being relieved, we definitely would not see the objective that we want to see…It’s good for Pakistan to cooperate with the US on Afghanistan,” the official said.
“We expected it would take some time for Pakistan to break the relationship between intelligence services and the militants. So far, we have seen them taking bare minimum steps that we are requesting,” the official pointed out.
Praising Ashraf Ghani for his offer of direct talks with the Taliban, the official said it was up to the militant movement to grab the opportunity.
“I think this is most important gesture or opening made to the Taliban by the Afghan government, in several years ago and we’re still waiting to see what the responses from the Taliban,” the official said.