It seems Donald Trump Government has decided to punish Pakistan and other safe heavens of Terrorism in the most brutal way possible. Few days back President Trump made a scorching statement about Pakistan about its continuous support for Terror heaven inside its territory. This statement has created a furor in Pakistan and government did call the National Security meeting to discuss the possible outcomes of Trump’s blunt statement.
If that was not enough, now USA Government in no uncertain terms has warned Pakistan and put it on notice by emphasizing that Islamabad could lose its status as a privileged military ally if it continues giving safe haven to Afghan terror groups.
This came exactly a day after President Donald Trump unveiled a new strategy for South Asia, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson upped the ante against Islamabad.
Earlier President Trump had warned that Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network and several other Terrorist Organizations would have consequences and Tillerson gave a glimpse of what’s in store for Pakistan if it fails to fall in line.
“We do have some leverage, in terms of aid, their status as a non-NATO alliance partner — all of that can be put on the table.” said Tillerson.
The Secretary of State’s shocking remarks come ahead of his meeting with Pakistani counterpart few days from now. As one of the 16 “Non-NATO major allies,” Pakistan got huge benefits in the form of billions of dollars in aid and has access to some advanced US military technology banned from other countries.
This year, the Trump Administration has already withheld $350 million in military funding over concerns Pakistan is not doing enough to fight terror, but the alliance itself was never in question.
Last year also, US had cancelled sale of F-16 fighter jets to Islamabad after strong reservations registered by Modi Government. Tillerson further added that US wants to work with Pakistan as it expands its own support for Kabul in the battle against the Taliban, but warned it to close militant safe havens.
Apart from that several Pakistan’s critics in the US have also urged Trump to go further, by authorizing US strikes against terrorists inside Pakistan or declaring Pakistan a “state sponsor of terror”.
US officials have not yet described the type of measures which could lead to severe sanctions and legal threats to Pakistani officials, but Tillerson did not rule out strikes.
The US has hit targets within Pakistan before, most famously when Barack Obama ordered the US Special Forces to kill al-Qaida Leader Osama Bin Laden.
Amid all these developments, Pakistani government caught off-guard and unable to respond to the situation.