US President Donald Trump’s new, get-tough approach with Pakistan’s government could potentially include sanctioning Pakistani government officials with ties to terrorist organizations.
The report said that a senior administration official said Tuesday morning, part of an overall regional strategy has put Pakistan “on notice” that “business as usual as it has been up to now is over.”
Early Tuesday Trump, in nationally televised address, announced his strategy for Afghanistan and said the United States must continue fighting in the country and that they can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations.
He also talked about giving more authority to the troops on the ground. “We will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan,” the US president said.
He added that their mission in Afghanistan will be to eliminate terrorists. After the announcement officials said on a conference call with reporters that also includes demanding more from the Pakistani government when it comes to combating terrorist groups.
“I think the important takeaway for the Pakistani government last night is that, you know, they should understand that they’re on notice from this president, from this administration,” the official said. “The United States has been really patient with Pakistan for a really long time. We haven’t been getting a good deal from them.”
The call was held for administration allies and surrogates, not the media, but some news organizations who learned of the call dialed in, including POLITICO.
As part of the new strategy, the official said the US could conceivably impose sanctions on terrorist groups including the Haqqani network, which has links to elements in the Pakistani government, as well as on any Pakistani officials “who are tied to these kinds of groups, you know, in ways that they shouldn’t be.”
That the Trump’s announced strategy was devoid of specifics regarding the exact number of troops set to be deployed or a timetable for that deployment was by design, multiple officials from his administration said Monday.
Such decisions will be made based on “conditions on the ground,” Vice President Mike Pence told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday morning.
“In the past, it’s always been time based on when we were going to get out, or based on the number of troops or based on all kinds of things. Now its results based, and that works,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.
“It works when the president speaks up and says this is what we’re going to do, we’re going to stomp out terrorism and he follows through with it.”