Pak Gets Stern Warning From US; Asked Not To Join Hands With Terror GroupsOctober 05, 2017 12:57
(Image source from: The Daily Signal)
Pak Gets Stern Warning From US; Asked Not To Join Hands With Terror Groups:- US Defence Secretary James Mattis, mincing no words, on Wednesday said if Pakistan continues to extend support to terror groups, then President Donald Trump is prepared to take “whatever steps necessary”.
Pakistan was further warned by Mattis of global “diplomatic isolation” and losing its non-NATO ally status, if it failed to take action against safe havens to terrorists, that are operating on its soil.
Mattis while addressing members of the powerful House Armed Services Committee during a Congressional testimony on South Asia and Afghanistan on Wednesday, Mattis said: “If our best efforts fail, President Trump is prepared to take whatever steps necessary.”
The Congressman who raised a series of questions to him expressed their frustration on Pakistan for not taking actions against terror groups. Mattis without much elaboration, said that if Pakistan does not follow through and be a better promoter of stability in the region, then the US has “enormously powerful number of options”.
“Right now, I would like to think we will be successful,” Mattis said. “With the growing consensus against terrorism, they’ll find themselves diplomatically isolated.”
“There is an awful lot of advantage to Pakistan of coming online with the international community, and we have to stay focused there, but the penalties are just as significant as the advantages if they choose to go a different direction,” he said.
“But for right now, the US needs to try one more time to make this strategy work with them by, with, and through the Pakistanis,” he said.
Mattis’ tough talk on Pakistan, comes in wake as Pakistan Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif is visiting the US. As part of efforts to rebuild bilateral ties worn after President Trump accused Islamabad of sheltering terror groups, Asif is visiting the US. Afghanistan and South Asia policy was announced by Trump in August in which he adopted a tough policy against Pakistan. Asif, in a meeting with the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, defended his country’s role in the war against terrorism.
A zero-tolerance and indiscriminate approach in its campaign against all terrorist and militant groups has been pursued by Pakistan, claimed Asif. However, Mattis told lawmakers that it is also aligning NATO countries on this, while the US is adopting “a whole of government approach” on Pakistan.
“What you’re going to see is 39 nations all in the NATO campaign working together to lay out what it is we need Pakistan to do”, he said.
“What we are doing right now is that we are aligning what Department of Treasury, Department of Defence, the Intelligence Committee, Department of State, say, this is what we must ask Pakistan to do to change its behavior,” he added.
“Pakistan has lost more troops in this fight against terrorism than nearly any country out there. And yet at the same time, as you know, there’s been some parsing out where some terrorists have been allowed safe havens. We’re out to change that behavior and do it very firmly, Mattis asserted.