Trump’s demand

WASHINGTON: Sticking to its do-more mantra, the US has linked resumption of the suspended security aid of some $2 billion to Pakistan with decisive and sustained action against alleged terrorist sanctuaries on Pakistan’s territory.

The US Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan, has said Pakistan is not heeding President Donald Trump’s demand to end the sanctuary it gives to the Taliban and other extremists – charges Pakistan long has vehemently rejected.

He said this while briefing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Afghan war and the US South Asia strategy.

“We may consider lifting the suspension when we see decisive and sustained actions to address our concerns,” Sullivan said.

The US has reiterated its commitment to play its part in reducing tensions in the South Asia in a way that address Pakistan’s legitimate concerns, the state-run Radio Pakistan adds.

The Deputy Secretary of State said they will continue to value their relationship with Pakistan and recognize the benefits of cooperation.

He said Pakistan has played an important role in pushing al-Qaida closer to defeat.

Sullivan also appreciated Pakistan for securing its nuclear weapons, hosting Afghan refugees, and providing access for supplies and equipment used by US and Afghan forces.

He said they also acknowledged the enormous sacrifices of the Pakistani people and security forces in combating terrorism.

He expressed the hope that Pakistan will help to convince the Taliban to enter a peace process.

The Deputy Secretary of State told the Committee that they also encouraged restraint in Pakistan’s military nuclear and missile programs, and sought continued, closer alignment of Pakistan’s nonproliferation policies with their own.

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