The United States has made it clear to Pakistan that there is no change in South Asia policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday night.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the comment as he welcomed long-delayed legislative elections in Afghanistan, saying the United States was ‘encouraged’ by voter turnout, despite reports of widespread problems including poll centers that failed to open or lacked voter rolls.
When asked about Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, Mike Pompeo said, “Our expectation is that Pakistan will not provide safe harbor to terrorists on their western border.”
“We couldn´t have made that message any more clear,” Pompeo said. He further added, “Pakistan will be held to account if they don’t achieve that, if they’re not sincere in that effort.”
Noting that he “met with Pakistani leaders a few weeks ago”, Mike Pompeo while referring to all stakeholders said, “Everyone wants a reconciliation in Afghanistan and to achieve that, you can’t have a safe harbor for Taliban, for Haqqani and for others inside of Pakistan.”
“Hope Pakistan achieves [the] goal we have set for them,” Pompeo stated.
President Donald Trump’s administration last month cut $300 million in military aid to Pakistan.
Pakistan has made it clear that it has paid a heavy price internally for fighting militants and that it can help bring the Taliban to the table.
A Taliban delegation earlier this month met in Qatar with a US envoy.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is a longstanding supporter of negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan, where the United States has been deployed since 2001.