Pompeo urges Imran Khan to act against ‘all terrorists’
Relations between the US and Pakistan have become strained in recent years now and the Trump administration’s decision to suspend nearly $2 billion in security aid has pushed ties to a new low.world Updated: Aug 24, 2018 07:47 IST
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Thursday urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take “decisive action” against “all terrorists”, employing a phrase used to press Pakistan to act against groups which operate from its soil and target India across the eastern border and Afghanistan across the western border.
Pompeo, in a telephonic conversation with Khan, “raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all terrorists operating in Pakistan”, state department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. Pompeo also raised with Khan Pakistan’s “vital role in promoting the Afghan peace process”.
This was the first high-level interaction the US had with the new dispensation in Islamabad — neither President Donald Trump nor vice president Mike Pence has called Khan yet.
Pompeo will reportedly visit Islamabad en route to India for the inaugural 2+2 meeting in September, but there has been no official announcement of the same and there was no indication of an impending visit in the readout of Pompeo’s call with Khan.
Relations between the US and Pakistan have become strained in recent years now and the Trump administration’s decision to suspend nearly $2 billion in security aid and Washington’s lobbying for Pakistan to placed be on an international monitoring list for terrorist financing has pushed ties to a new low.
Islamabad’s continued reluctance to act against terrorists has been at the root of the discord, and Khan’s near omission of terrorism from his maiden policy speech after taking office last week must have been noted.
Within hours, the state department bureau chief for Central and South Asia, Alice Wells, told reporters: “We have expressed our concern over the fact that terrorist proxy groups continue to be able to enjoy safe haven in Pakistan. We are urging the government to do more to bring pressure to bear against these organizations externally-oriented terrorist groups.”
First Published: Aug 24, 2018 07:47 IST