Pence Tells Abbasi That Pakistan Must Do More To Defeat Militants

Adjust Comment Print

"It's Pakistan's choice in which direction it wants to take the future of the relationship", the official said adding that the U.S. was still engaging Pakistani leaders and wanted to address some of Islamabad's concerns.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had an unscheduled meeting with US Vice President Michael Pence here on Friday and their talks focused on finding a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, official sources told Dawn.

Earlier, Pakistan embassy in Washington hosted a luncheon in honour of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Prime Minister Abbasi arrived in Washington on Wednesday to be with his elder sister - not Senator Sadia Abbasi - who underwent a disc-surgery at a Washington hospital. Both the leaders discussed to find more ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries during the meeting.

"Trump's request that the government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country", the White House said. During the meeting which lasts for around 30-minute, Pence reiterated the need for immediate action from Pakistan to stop cross border attacks.

"We are continuing to look for real action, not just words, from Pakistan on the Taliban and Haqqani sanctuaries", the official said.

"We are still seeking actions from Pakistan that we have not seen".

It was then unclear what triggered President Trump to openly criticize a longtime security partner in South and Central Asia, but it seemed to have made clear that nuclear-armed Pakistan needed to do much more to clamp down on Islamist militants if it wanted to continue to receive American aid. The prime minister assured Mr Pence of Pakistan's "sincere commitment" to efforts for peace in Afghanistan and also underlined "Pakistan's successes" in the war against terrorism, the sources said.

Earlier on March 16, a senior US official told reporters that Pakistan is doing the "bare minimum" needed to address USA demands that it stop the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network from operating within its borders. The officials also warned the Pakistan that they can take own measures if no action against terrorists groups will be taken by South-Asian Islamic country.

The Trump administration has shown their dissatifaction with Pakistan's Afghanistan policy.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last month proposed peace talks with the Taliban , which could eventually be recognised as a political party if it observes a ceasefire and officially recognises the Afghan government and constitution.