US President Donald Trump’s administration seems ready to harden its approach toward Pakistan to crack down on Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan, US officials tell Reuters.
Potential Trump administration responses being talked about incorporate expanding US drone strikes, diverting or withholding some aid to Pakistan and maybe eventually downgrading Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, the officials said, talking on state of anonymity.
Some US officials, in any case, are skeptical of the prospects for achievement and that already fortifying US binds to India, Pakistan’s most despised foe, undermine odds of a breakthrough with Islamabad.
US officials say they look for more prominent cooperation with Pakistan, not a burst in ties, once the administration completes a regional review of the strategy directing the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan.
The White House and Pentagon declined to remark on the review before its consummation. Pakistan’s embassy in Washington did not promptly react to a demand for input.
“The United States and Pakistan keep on partnering on a scope of national security issues,” Pentagon representative Adam Stump said.
Albeit long aware of Pakistan, the Trump administration as of late has put more accentuation on the relationship with Islamabad in dialogs as it hammers out a the regional strategy to be displayed to Trump by mid-July, about six months after he took office, one authority said.
“We’ve never really completely verbalized what our strategy towards Pakistan is. The strategy will all the more plainly say what we need from Pakistan specifically,” the US official said, talking on state of anonymity.
Different US officials warn of divisions inside the government about the right approach and question whether any blend of carrots and sticks can motivate Islamabad to change its conduct. Toward the day’s end, Washington needs an accomplice in atomic outfitted Pakistan, they say.
The United States is again ready to convey thousands more troops in Afghanistan, an affirmation that US-backed forces are not winning and Taliban militants are resurgent. Without more weight on Pakistan, experts say extra US troop deployments will neglect to meet their definitive goal: to weight the Taliban to eventually arrange peace.
“I accept there will be a substantially harder US line on Pakistan going ahead than there has been previously,” Hamdullah Mohib, the Afghan minister to the United States, told Reuters, without refering to particular measures under review.
“What Pakistan says is that we are already doing a great deal and that our plate is already full,” a senior Pakistani government source told Reuters, talking on state of anonymity.
The source questioned the Trump administration would press too hard, saying: “They would prefer not to push Pakistan to abandon their war against terrorism.”
Pakistani officials point towards the toll militancy has gone up against the nation. Since 2003, very nearly 22,000 civilians and almost 7,000 Pakistani security forces have been killed because of militancy, as indicated by the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which tracks violence.