Washington: The United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against militants operating from its soil, the State Department has said.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, speaking at her daily news conference, described Pakistan as an “important partner” and said Islamabad already knows what it needs to do.
“We expect Pakistan… that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against the Haqqani Network and other militants who are operating from its soil,” said Nauert.
“Pakistan is an important partner. We have a lot of issues in that region. Pakistan knows that, we all know that, and we try to work carefully together on some of those issues. I dont want to say that Pakistan can do more, but Pakistan knows what it needs to do,” she said.
She was responding to a series of questions on President Donald Trump’s tweet in which he blasted the Pakistani leadership and alleged that they have given America “nothing but lies and deceit” despite having received more than USD 33 billion in last 15 years.
Speaking about the US’ decision to withhold USD 255 million military aid to Pakistan, Nauert said the decision was taken in August and Pakistan will need to “earn” such assistance through sincere action.
“They need to earn, essentially, the money that we have provided in the past in foreign military assistance, they need to show that they are sincere in their efforts to crack down on terrorists,” she said.
Nauert said the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Defence Secretary Jim Mattis who visited Pakistan in the last couple of months had conveyed the same message to Pakistani leadership.
“They shared with the Pakistani Government and their counterparts our concerns. We would like Pakistan to do more through cooperation. They have a lot; it’s not just us. We’re not the only ones who benefit from it. But they have a lot to gain through additional cooperation on the issue of terrorism. So we expect them to take greater actions,” she said.
Pakistan yesterday summoned the US envoy to register its protest after president Trump’s tweet.
“Professional meeting, professional in tone,” Nauert described the meeting.