Pakistan needs to do lot more against Taliban, other terrorist outfits: US
Washington, Mar 21 (IBNS):The US on Tuesday said Pakistan is heading towards the right direction but 'a lot more needs to be done' by the Asian nation to wipe out terrorism from the region.
During a press briefing, Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the US State Department, said, "One of the things that the President has called for in his South Asia strategy is for Pakistan to take on greater responsibility for cracking down on terror groups."
"And we’ve certainly seen Pakistan take some positive steps in the right direction, but a lot more needs to be done, in terms of Pakistan cracking down not just on the Taliban, but the Haqqani Network and other terror networks as well," she said when asked about an 'update' in the relationship between US and Pakistan.
She also highlighted the meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and US Vice President Mike Pence last week.
"Mike – Vice President Mike Pence met with the Prime Minister Abbasi of Pakistan just on Friday of last week. They talked about the overall South Asia strategy, the administration’s South Asia strategy, and that’s one of the things that the Vice President addressed with him. He said the Government of Pakistan has to do more to address the continued presence of terrorism in Pakistan," she said.
"There’s a lot more that they can do, but they can also play a critical role in the – with the Taliban in getting the Taliban to come to the table in Pakistan," she said.
USA had earlier pressed sanctions on Pakistan and withdrew its monetary aid.
The Trump administration had concluded that Islamabad failed to curb terrorism and further stated that most terrorist sought refuge in Pakistan.
The relationship between Pakistan and the USA had touched new low over Trump administration's perception on the Asian nation.
In January this year, US President Donald Trump gave a strong message to Pakistan when he said his nation 'foolishly' gave more than 33 billion dollars in aid for the past 15 years but the south Asian nation only provided safe heavens to terrorists.
He said Pakistan only gave 'lies and deceit' to the US in return to the aid.
"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more," Trump tweeted.
Pence Image: Wikipedia
Abbasi Image: National Assembly of Pakistan