US warned Pakistan to roll up terrorist groups operating in the country. If Islamabad chose not to act, Washington will find ways to achieve its objectives, said an US official.
The United States on Friday issued its direst warning to Pakistan to roll up terrorist groups operating in the country and end the establishment support for such groups, warning that if Islamabad chose not to act, Washington will find ways to achieve its objectives.
Days after US Secretary of States Rex Tillerson stopped in Islamabad+ for four hours to deliver a blunt message that American support to Pakistan was “conditions-based,” Senior US officials who accompanied him on the trip signaled that Washington had devised other ways to achieve its objective of eliminating terrorist groups and stabilising Afghanistan.
“It’s up to them whether or not they want to work with us,” acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia Alice Wells told reporters. “And if they don’t … then we’ll adjust accordingly.”
In language that echoed that cryptic warning+ , State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told PTI that the US will “adjust” its tactics and strategies to achieve the objective in a “different way.”
Dismissing Pakistan’s bogus narrative – largely for its domestic consumption – that India and US are backing terror groups in Afghanistan that are attacking Pakistan, Wells said Washington wanted Pakistan to show the same commitment it made to defeat militant groups domestically to those threatening Afghanistan or India.
Pakistan’s recent tactics include cooking up stories about India’s alleged support to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and tales of Indian subversives in Pakistan, for neither of which it has produced any conclusive evidence.
It has also invoked support from (real) allies such as China, and purported allies such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Turkey to counter US pressure.
But the Tillerson mission has evidently ignored Pakistan’s diplomatic gambits and rebuffed its self-serving narratives that have also been rejected at international forums including at the UN, where Pakistani officials have attempted to present dossiers claiming Indian subversion in Pakistan.
Instead, Tillerson appears to have sternly told Islamabad that the US fears for Pakistan’s own future if the country remains in denial about its continued support to terror groups.
Pakistan keeps repeating the claim that it has taken a lead role in the war on terror and has suffered as a consequence, although its establishment still nurtures US and UN designated terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, and Dawood Ibrahim
Pakistan has also been unable to explain why so many of the world’s most wanted terrorists have been found within its borders.
Pakistan and its shills and sympathisers have long argued that the US lacks the leverage to change the country behavior, but the Trump administration has shown that it is willing to use blunt force instruments, including military and financial pressure to bend Islamabad to its will.
Tillerson’s visit to Pakistan was preceded by half-dozen drone strikes inside Pakistan and the disenfranchising in the US of a prominent Pakistani bank on grounds of dodgy operations. US officials have indicated they have more tools at their disposal if Pakistan remains defiant or in denial.