Washington: The Trump administration believes that it is time to try something new other than maintaining strategic patience and offering inducements to Pakistan to prevent it becoming a safe haven for terrorists from where they can attack the US and its allies, a senior official said on Sunday.
He said the police followed by the successive US administrations post 9/11 vis-Ã -vis Pakistan have not worked.
The US is committed to not allowing either Pakistan or Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists from where they can attack the US and its allies, said the senior Trump administration official who spoke to a group of reporters on condition of anonymity.
âThese sanctuaries really threaten stability in the region and they continue to fuel the overall terrorism problem that weâre facing,â he said.
Noting that the âprevious administrations have tried to exercise what they might call strategic patience or offering inducements like Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill which gave billions of dollars to Pakistanâ, the official said none of it has worked so far.
Terrorists continue to operate freely inside Pakistan and there is a relationship between terrorist organisations and the establishment, he said. âThis administration believes itâs time to try something different. And we believe we owe it to the Americans in harmâs way in Afghanistan. We simply canât ignore the sanctuaries if weâre going to make progress in Afghanistan,â he said, adding that âthe president has been clear about his commitment to stabilising Afghanistanâ.
Last week, the Trump administration suspended approximately USD 2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, resulting in an outrage from Islamabad. The Pakistan Foreign Minister, in an interview to The Wall Street Journal, had said that America was no longer an ally of Pakistan.
About President Donald Trumpâs comprehensive South Asia strategy for regional diplomacy announced in August 2017, the official said, âIt looked at India-Pakistan relations, encouraging better ties between the two countries and reducing tensions between themâ.
The policy is not about looking at Pakistan through the lens of Afghanistan, but it is about looking at the region and the future of the US, he said. â9/11 attacks you know had their roots in this region. Weâve invested a lot of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. We are committed to not allowing the Taliban to dominate Afghanistan and we are committed to not allowing Afghanistan or Pakistan to become a safe haven from which terrorists can attack the US and its allies,â the official said.
âSo, I wouldnât classify it is looking at Pakistan through the Afghanistan lens. I think thatâs too narrow of a viewpoint. I think this is about the region and the future of the region. And the fact that these continued sanctuaries really threaten stability in the region and they continue to fuel the overall terrorism problem that weâre facing,â he said.
Former Speaker of the US House of Representative, Newt Gingrich, in an interview to AM970 in New York said that Trump has âshocked the elitesâ by freezing US aid to Pakistan. âIt has so thoroughly shocked the elites that we actually are going to protect America, and defend America, and that weâre actually going to render judgement,â he said. âIf you kick us in the shin, weâre not going to pay you,â Gingrich said.