Reiterating the importance that Washington attaches to Pakistan cracking down on terror outfits operating on its soil, a high-level US official has once again reminded Islamabad that it remains on notice to prove its work on eliminating terrorism.
US-Pakistan relations nosedived in recent months with accusations and barbs being hurled with increasing frequency. The Americans want Pakistan to take strong measures against terror outfits, like the Haqqani network, within its territory. Pakistan has said it continues to do so even as it takes a toll on the country and its people. And in the midst of it all, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G Wells recently said that Pakistan remains on notice. "Pakistan is on notice that we expect its unequivocal cooperation ending sanctuaries that the Taliban have enjoyed since the remnants of their toppled regime fled into Pakistan in 2001," she said.
While relations have begun thawing, memories of US President Donald Trump's first tweet of 2018 lingers on. "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" he had written.
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
The US has also become a lot more watchful in providing monetary aid to Pakistan in order for the country to fight terrorism.
In retaliation, several Pakistani leaders have urged that reliance on the US should be reduced and that closer ties should be developed with China and Russia. With the Pakistani economy in doldrums and elections scheduled for next month, even supposedly close allies are reportedly sceptical at best about relations with Islamabad.