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US says unhappy with Pakistan’s action on terrorism

A senior official said that in the six months since President Donald Trump announced his South Asia policy, the administration has noted that there signs that things are moving in the right direction generally but Pakistan has been found wanting.

world Updated: Mar 16, 2018 23:57 IST
Yashwant Raj
File photo of US President Donald Trump.
File photo of US President Donald Trump. (REUTERS)

The US has not seen sufficient decisive actions from Pakistan against terrorists based on its soil and expects more from it to combat groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad that target India, a senior administration official said on Friday.

The official said Pakistan was doing the “bare minimum”, adding that the US is prepared to do whatever is necessary. The official refused to spell out the specifics or even the timeline for more steps such as the suspension of all military aid announced by the Trump administration earlier in the year.

“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 told reporters at a background briefing on South Asia.

The US had also conveyed to Pakistan that it expected Islamabad to act against LeT and JeM, their fronts and allied organisations, and all designated individuals and entities.

The official said that in the six months since President Donald Trump announced his South Asia policy, the administration has noted that there signs that things are moving in the right direction generally but Pakistan has been found wanting.

The official said: “The president has made it clear that he is not satisfied with the action taken by Pakistan... We have communicated clearly to Pakistan to what we mean by decisive action.

“When provided very specific information, they have responded. But we have not seen them taking pro-active actions against terrorist groups which they are capable of.”

About Pakistan’s recent grey listing by the Financial Action Task Force, the official said the US treasury department had been trying for years to persuade Pakistan to prevent terrorist financing and money-laundering.

“We expect (Pakistan) to rein in terrorist financing,” the official said, adding, the Trump administration was very disappointed by the release of Hafiz Saeed from house arrest last year.

Despite the disappointments, the official said, the administration was prepared to give the strategy more time, even as it was being continually evaluated and reviewed.

But the US will not let up on the pressure on Pakistan. “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. We intend to continue the pressure and at the same time indicate that there is a way forward,” the official said.