President Donald Trump is set to finalise a new policy for the Pakistan-Afghan region in which the United States may not sever ties with Pakistan or declare it a state sponsor of terrorism, but it is considering to impose new conditions for entitlement to financial support.
The U.S. Congress conducted many debates and discussions in which many issues were raised. Some officials said Pakistan is still an important partner in Washington's counter-terrorism cooperation plans, while others advocated severing ties with Pakistan, the Dawn has reported.
In one of the debates, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the administration was holding an inter-agency review of already dwindling U.S. support and funding to Pakistan.
Some demand that Islamabad should be labelled a state sponsor of terrorism. Others want a cessation of all military and economic assistance to the country. And some are urging the new administration to cancel the status of a non-NATO ally, conferred on Pakistan at the height of the US-led 'war on terrorism.
The U.S. partnership with Pakistan was being discussed in various congressional committees arranged for key administration officials to defend their budget proposals for the next fiscal year.
Washington may also increase drone strikes inside Pakistan, particularly in retaliation to terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.But some officials are emphasizing to retain Islamabad as an important partner in its global war on terrorism.
Pakistan is an ally on counter-terrorism issues and will be essential for bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table for peace talks, the Dawn quoted acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tina Kaidanow, as saying.
"The United States and Pakistan have a close partnership on regional peace, security, prosperity and stability. And we continue to work with the government of Pakistan on many areas including counterterrorism," added the U.S. State Department's spokesperson, Heather Nauert.
Retired U.S. General, Douglas Lute has urged Washington to balance "our demands on Pakistan (with) . our other interests in Pakistankeeping in mind several interests in Pakistan that surpass our interest in dealing with the Afghan Taliban".
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