Pakistan has much to lose by allegedly sheltering militants: US warns Pakistan

  • Mike Pence says 'Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States'
Pakistan

KABUL – US Vice President Mike Pence has warned Pakistan that it must stop providing safe havens to terrorist groups that fight against American forces and its allies.

Speaking to US troops during his surprise visit to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan on Thursday, Pence repeated the warnings issued by President Donald Trump. He said, “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”

He further threatened, “President Trump has put Pakistan on notice”.

During his visit, he also held meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at the presidential palace.

Pence warning follows Trump’s recent statement while announcing national security policy, when he urged Pakistan to tackle alleged militant groups within the country. The document further says, “We will insist that Pakistan take decisive action against militant and terrorist groups operating from its soil” as “the United States continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan”.

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The president in his remarks said, “We have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory.  And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan.  They have to help”.

However, Pakistan on Tuesday rejected what it called accusations made in the Trump administration’s first national security strategy, saying “unsubstantiated allegations” in the document trivialised Islamabad’s efforts to fight terrorism.

A foreign office statement said, “Pakistan rejects such unfounded accusations that belie facts on the ground and trivialise Pakistan’s efforts for fighting terrorism and our unmatched sacrifices to promote peace and stability in the region.”