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US likely to continue ‘carrot and stick policy’ with Pakistan under Trump

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Washington [United States]: The incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is likely to continue the ‘carrot and stick policy’ with Pakistan, say experts after analyzing the statements made by Defense Secretary-designate James ‘Mad Dog” Mattis during two days of hearing before the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Senate.

Mattis, through his responses to specific questions related to Pakistan, on Thursday and Friday, indicated that while he would work to build bridges with Islamabad and try to restore the trust that has eroded between the two nations in recent years, he would also urge the latter to “neutralise” militant groups that allegedly operate within its borders.

Diplomatic observers, according to the Dawn, are interpreting these statements as a glimpse of the Trump administration’s military policy towards Pakistan, which indicate the continuation of the carrot-and-stick policy of the Obama administration.

Mattis also used his confirmation hearing to caution the U.S. Congress that putting conditions on US security assistance to Pakistan has not always produced the desired results, but added that he would review all options if he was confirmed.

He said that the incoming government and Congress needs to be particularly aware of any behaviour that supports Pakistan-based militant groups.

Matti said he would consult the Senate Armed Services Committee before making any decision on attaching conditions to American security assistance to Pakistan.

Last year, the U.S. Congress refused to release funds needed for selling the F-16s to Pakistan at a reduced price, which forced the Obama administration to cancel the offer. (ANI)