U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has refused to rule out the use of military action, involving air strikes, on terror groups in Pakistan and cutting off its status as a privileged military ally if Islamabad doesn’t crack down on the Taliban and other extremist groups. “We are going to attack terrorists wherever they live, and we have put people on notice that if you are harboring or providing safe haven to terrorists, be warned, be forewarned,” Washington Examiner quoted Tillerson as saying. “All those things… are on the table for discussion, if, in fact, they are unwilling to change their posture or change their approach to how they’re dealing with the numerous terrorist organizations that find safe haven in Pakistan,” he added. “Pakistan must adopt a different approach, and we are ready to work with them to help them protect themselves against these terrorist organizations. We are going to be conditioning our support for Pakistan and our relationship with them on them delivering results in this area. “We have some leverage in terms of aid, their status as a non-NATO alliance partner — all of that can be put on the table,” he further said.
Reinforcing U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning issued to Pakistan over its alleged support to extremist groups in the region, the U.S. Secretary of State said, “There’s been an erosion in trust because we have witnessed terrorist organizations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan to plan and carry out attacks against U.S. servicemen, U.S. officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan.” Meanwhile,U.S. National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Michael Anton has warned that President Donald Trump is planning to impose sanctions on terrorists including the Haqqani network having links to the Pakistan Governemnt and has outrightly dismissed its allegations against India’s encirclement through Afghanistan.
While announcing U.S. policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, President Trump has vowed to win the war in Afghanistan by committing more US troops as he called on Nato allies such as Britain to increase troop numbers “in line with our own”. “We will ask our Nato allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troop and funding increases in line without own – we are confident they will,” Trump said.