Washington: Pakistan will be held responsible if it did not make sincere efforts to curb terrorism and their safe harbour on its western border with Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned.
He made the comment as he welcomed the holding of long-delayed election in war-torn Afghanistan in which around four million people exercised their franchise.
Talking to reporters on Tuesday at the State Department, Pompeo said this was the message he delivered to the Pakistani leadership when he travelled to Islamabad last month after Imran Khan became prime minister.
“We had made (it) clear that the US policy with respect to south-central Asia has not changed, that our expectation is that Pakistan will not provide safe harbour to terrorists on their western border,” he said in response to a question.
The relations between Pakistan and the US nose-dived this January after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to Washington but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists.
On September 5, Pompeo met Khan and pressed him “to do more” to rein in the terror groups operating from the Pakistani soil.
“We couldn’t make that message any more clear and that Pakistan will be held account if they don’t see about it… If they’re not sincere in that effort.
“We don’t believe we can get to the place that everyone wants. Everyone wants reconciliation in Afghanistan, and to achieve that you can’t have a safe harbour for the Taliban – for the Haqqani (terror network), and for others inside of Pakistan,” Pompeo said.
The Pakistani government knows “that’s our view and this (Trump) administration has already made significant efforts to hold them accountable and we hope that they’ll achieve the goal that we have out for them,” said the Secretary of State.
He indicated that there has been no change in the Trump administration’s policy with regard to suspension of security aid to Pakistan unless it takes satisfactory measures to eliminate terrorists safe havens.
Early this year, US President Donald Trump suspended USD 300 million in security aid to Pakistan. India, too, had asked Pakistan to stop supporting and glorifying terrorists and terror activities against India and its other neighbours.