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Pakistan US Relations

Beware Pakistan you are down and out

US has already decided to drop Pakistan from allies, they now want to draw maximum leverage before the drop becomes obvious to the erstwhile allies - Pakistan.

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As Pakistan finds itself in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Afghan strategy, cracks continue to deepen in Pak-US relations.

It has been over six years since Washington turned from rosy to thorny in its approach to Pakistan after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Taliban chief Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil, but the announcement about President Trump’s Afghan strategy on Monday night put an even heavier strain on Pak-US relations. In a televised address to the nation, Trump unveiled his long-awaited strategy on the handling of the deadly war in Afghanistan, which is the longest war in America’s history and has claimed the lives of more than 2,200 U.S. troops since 2001.

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In his remarks about the Afghan crisis, Trump saved his harshest words for Pakistan, warning that he would cut financial aid and security assistance to its decades-old South Asian ally if it doesn’t stop providing “safe havens” to “agents of chaos.”

The U.S. President also warned that Islamabad had “much to lose” by continuing to harbor terrorists

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His remarks sparked a furious response in Pakistan, where Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi rejected his allegations and called his Afghan strategy an attempt “to scapegoat Pakistan” during a high-level meeting of Pakistan’s national security committee.

The future of Pak-US relations remains undecided, as pressure on Islamabad is mounting. For months, senior U.S. officials in the Trump administration have criticized Islamabad for allegedly providing safe havens to militants and not taking sufficient action against the Haqqani Network group.

The White House is said to be considering options to strong-arm Pakistan into fighting terrorists on its own soil. Some analysts suggest that Islamabad could be declared a state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has publicly hinted that it is considering stripping Pakistan of its non-NATO ally status.

 

This was the sentiment voiced by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Trump unveiled his Afghan strategy

Courtesy The Economist weekly

Post dated September 15, 2017

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