KARACHI: Pakistan has made it clear to the Trump administration that it will not bow down to US conditions and that it should adopt a more ‘balanced policy’ towards it, instead of harping on the same old ‘do more’ tune.
According to sources, Pakistan has conveyed to the US that it will act against terrorists, keeping in view its national security policy, and no decision will be taken under pressure from any country.
And in view of this clear-cut stance adopted by Pakistan, a fresh round of talks has been initiated between the two counties under the Trump administration’s advice.
A US delegation led by Lisa Curtis, the National Security Council Director for Southeast Asia and Special Aide to the Trump administration, visited Pakistan after the US proposed placing Pakistan on the watchlist for terrorist funding countries in a meeting of the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) held in Paris last week. The FATF members, however, rejected the proposal, giving extension to Pakistan until June 2018, after which a comprehensive analysis on the matter will be carried out.
During the fresh round of talks, the federal government authorities elaborated Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism and claimed elimination of terrorist sanctuaries in the country, citing achievements of multiple operations by the armed forces, including the ongoing Raddul Fasaad.
The US delegation was told that Pakistan was not directly or indirectly supporting any terrorist outfit, including the Haqqani network. It was also told that Pakistan had been using all its resources for indiscriminate action against terrorists, and that the Trump administration should refrain from baseless allegations.
Trump’s national security strategy
According to the sources, the federal government authorities also asked the US to share with it any intelligence regarding terrorist hideouts in Pakistan. While the government vowed to eliminate terrorism from the country, it categorically dismissed the possibility of a joint military operation with support from any country, including the US.
The US delegation was also briefed about government’s efforts to curb terrorist funding, including legislative and administrative measures taken in the recent past.
“Pakistan is ensuring compliance with UN resolutions,” the sources quoted federal government officials as telling the US delegation, adding that more laws might be enacted to uproot all forms of terrorism from the country.
Pakistan’s fight against terrorism
The delegation was asked to put forward a ‘balanced policy’ instead of repeating its ‘do more’ mantra. Pakistan also told the US and Afghanistan to take effective measures against all direct and indirect supporters of terrorism in the region.
Pakistan made it clear to the US that it would lend support to it in elimination of terrorism based on its national security policy, said the sources.
They said the federal government also expressed its reservations over the FATF resolution presented by the US. “Measures like these are likely to create strife in the bilateral relations,” the sources cited the federal government as telling the US officials.
The talks with the US delegation ended on a positive note, said the sources, adding that schedule for further meetings would be announced by the authorities in the two countries.
The sources said that Pakistan would seriously consider any proposals from the FATF after discussing them at the level of the National Security Council. The committee may further take measures against terrorism including legislation and revisions in the National Action Plan.
It was also decided that diplomatic ties with friendly countries and the global community would be strengthened to keep Pakistan out of the watchlist for terror-funding countries.
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