Tuesday Dec 19, 2017
KARACHI: The United States insisted on Monday that Pakistan take a "decisive action against militant and terrorist groups operating from its soil", as President Donald Trump unveiled a new national security strategy underlining the country's interests and objectives worldwide.
"The United States continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan," read part of the 55-page document that pertained to South Asia.
The document said that the US interests in the region include countering terrorist threats that impact the security of the US and its allies, and preventing cross-border terrorism among others.
"We seek a Pakistan that is not engaged in destabilising behaviour and a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan. We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts, since no partnership can survive a country’s support for militants and terrorists who target a partner’s own service members and officials."
Announcing the new national security strategy at the White House, Trump said, "We have made it clear to Pakistan that while we desire a continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory."
"And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan; they have to help," he added.
In August, Trump lambasted Islamabad for harbouring "agents of chaos" on its soil, as he cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials responded to the allegations saying that the US should not “scapegoat” Pakistan for its failure to eliminate militant sanctuaries inside Afghanistan.
The document further said the prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange remains a key concern requiring consistent diplomatic attention, besides preventing nuclear weapons, technology, and materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.
"The US will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets."
The US also promised to further its trade ties with Pakistan if it helped Washington achieve counterterrorism goals.
"In Pakistan, we will build trade and investment ties as security improves and as Pakistan demonstrates that it will assist the United States in our counterterrorism goals," the document read.