Washington will no longer tolerate over terrorist safe havens in Pakistan

Donald Trump warned Pakistan that Washington will no longer tolerate Pakistan offering “safe havens” to extremists.

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations,” Trump declared, outlining a new US security strategy in South Asia.

“Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”

Going further, Trump suggested that military and other aid to Washington’s nuclear-armed ally is at stake if it does not clamp down on extremism.

“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said.

“That will have to change and that will change immediately,” he said.

“It is time for Pakistan to dedicate to civilization and order and peace.”

Donald Trump heaped praise on India for its contribution in Afghanistan and said New Delhi is a key security and economic partner of America.

In his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief, Trump discarded his previous criticism of the 16-year-old war as a waste of time and money, admitting things looked different from “behind the desk in the Oval Office.”

Trump for the first time also left the door open to an eventual political deal with the Taliban. “Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan,” he said.

“But nobody knows if or when that will ever happen,” he added, before vowing that “America will continue its support for the Afghan government and military as they confront the Taliban in the field.”

While wary of international entanglements, Trump has also been eager to show success and steel in the realm of national security.

As president, he has surrounded himself with military generals — from his national security adviser to his chief of staff to his defense secretary — who have urged him to stay the course.

The Trump administration had originally promised a new Afghan plan by mid-July, but Trump was said to be dissatisfied by initial proposals to deploy a few thousand more troops.

His new policy will raise questions about what, if anything, can be achieved by making further deployments, or repeating the demands of previous administrations in more forceful terms.

-AFP

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