Pakistan Risks Regional Isolation, US Aid Cut: US Officials

Pakistan PM Abbasi meets US Vice President Mike Pence.

Highly placed sources in the Trump administration, who advise the US President on Afghanistan policy, have said that instructions have been handed down from the White House to hit pause on American aid flowing to Pakistan till the latter begins to crack down on terror safe havens operating within its borders.

"The screws are tightening now, Trump did not meet (Pakistan PM) Abbasi yesterday at the UN...there's a message in that," said one of the sources to ANI, who also requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.

The foreign policy advisors went on to say that any new deal, whether economic or military, would be incumbent on deliverables offered by Islamabad. Pakistan's continued support of the Haqqani network and refusal to release Shakil Afridi, a doctor who has been jailed for six years for his role in helping the CIA track Osama bin Laden, who was in hiding at a safe house in Pakistan's Abbottabad, are some of the issues the White House takes very seriously.

US President Donald Trump, in his maiden United Nations General Assembly address, delivered a strong message to nations harbouring terrorists, reiterating campaign promises he made during the US election campaign of 2016.

"We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology and we must drive them out of our nations," said Donald Trump at the UNGA being held in New York.

Trump's emphatic condemnation of terrorists and those nations providing patronage to terror groups, came on the heels of Trump's speech on the War in Afghanistan he made last month that slammed Pakistan's role in granting safe havens to terrorists. Trump in the same speech lauded India's role in Afghanistan and hoped for an increase of Indian support to rebuilding and securing the war ravaged nation.

"Pakistan risks a lonely existence in a region where India-US relations are growing from strength to strength and a potentially reluctant China that has geo-politically extended itself more than it's capable of," added the source. (ANI)

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