WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned that Pakistan could lose its privileged status as a major non-NATO US ally if it allegedly continues to provide shelter to extremist groups.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Tillerson told reporter as saying: “We have some leverage that’s been discussed in terms of the amount of aid and military assistance we give them, their status as a non-NATO alliance partner. All of that can be put on the table”.
Highlighting Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror on one side, the US secretary blamed Pakistan for supporting terrorism causing of erosion in trust.
He states, “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”.
Tillerson said that US was going to be “conditioning our support for Pakistan and our relationship with them on them delivering results in this area. We want to work with Pakistan in a positive way, but they must change their approach”.
Responding to a question regarding strikes in Pakistan, the US secretary said President has been clear that we are going to protect American troops and servicemen.
“We are going to attack terrorists wherever they live, and we have put people on notice that if you are harboring and providing safe haven to terrorists, be warned. Be forewarned. And we’re going to engage with those who are providing safe haven and ask them to change what they’re doing and help us help them”.
US President Donald Trump, on Monday unleashed his policy of ramping up pressure on Pakistan, a close ally of US, in a bid to fully implement the revamped Afghan war strategy.
Accusing Islamabad of harbouring “agents of chaos, violence, and terror” the tycoon-turned-president clarified to increase pressure on the country to stop any re-emergence of safe havens in order to gain regional peace, besides announcing increase of US troops in Afghanistan.
President Trump stated this in his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief while announcing a new strategy regarding Pakistan’s neighbouring country, Afghanistan, where America landed with its troops after 9/11 attacks nearly 16 years ago, Monday night aiming at achieving a “lasting peace”.
He said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” adding, “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan.”