Pakistan has to decide if they want to work with US: Alice Wells
WASHINGTON, OCT 28 (DNA) – The United States wants Pakistan to move quickly to show good faith in supporting efforts to counter militants operating in Afghanistan and in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table, a senior US diplomat for South Asia Alice Wells said on Friday.
Speaking after accompanying US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on a visit to the region, including Pakistan, Wells said Washington looked forward to seeing practical steps from Pakistan “over the next few weeks and months.”
“The secretary stressed the importance of Pakistan moving quickly to demonstrate good faith and efforts to use its influence to create the conditions that will get the Taliban to the negotiating table,” Wells, the acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia.
She said Washington wanted Pakistan to show the same commitment it had made to defeat militant groups domestically to those threatening Afghanistan or India.
“It’s up to them whether or not they want to work with us,” Wells said. “And if they don’t … then we’ll adjust accordingly.”
Wells declined to elaborate on what action the United States might take or what specific actions it wanted Pakistan to take.
Relations between uneasy allies US and Pakistan have frayed in recent years, with Washington repeatedly accusing Islamabad of helping Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network militants who stage attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies doing so.
US President Donald Trump has vowed to get tough with Pakistan unless it changed its behaviour, with US officials threatening further reductions in aid and mooting targeted sanctions against Pakistani officials.
On Monday, during a visit to Kabul, Tillerson urged Pakistan to act against safe havens on its soil.
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