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US looking at tools to convince Pakistan on terrorist group crackdown

Last week, Trump accused Pakistan of doing nothing for the US in the fight against terrorism

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Except for designating as a state sponsor of terrorism, the is looking at all possible tools at its disposal to convince Islamabad that it is in its interest to crack down on group, a senior US official has said.

"The focus of the discussions has not been on designating a state sponsor of terrorism, rather how to use other tools at our disposal to convince that it is in its interest to crack down on groups," the administration official told

"Pakistan has a stark choice: Cooperate and enjoy the benefits of close relationship with the U.S. and the rest of the world, or face isolation if it chooses not to change its behaviour," the official said in response to a question.

This past week, US in an interview to Fox News, on twitter and in interaction with reporters accused Pakistan of doing nothing for the US in the fight against and reiterated that till the time Islamabad changes its behaviour his administration will continue to suspend all assistance to it.

"I want Pakistan to help us. We're no longer paying USD1.3 billion to Pakistan. We're paying them nothing because that's what they've done to help us. Nothing," Trump told reporters at the on November 20.

And on November 18, in an interview to Fox News, Trump alleged that people in Pakistan knew that Osama bin Laden was living in a mansion near their garrison city of Abbottabad, but they did not tell the US and kept on accepting billions of dollars in aid.

At the same time, he said that his administration hopes to have a "good relationship" with Pakistan.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, his administration officials say they are looking at ways through which they can convince Pakistan to change its behaviour.

Last August when Trump announced his South Asia Policy, officials had listed out some of these tools, like reviewing the major non-NATO ally status, or visa ban on officials having links with designated groups, adopting a tough posture against Pakistan at major forums like the Monetary Fund.

In January this year, Trump had announced to suspend all its security assistance to Pakistan. Last week, Pentagon said that so far it has suspended $1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan after Trump's January directive.

But the has not been thinking about designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, a demand being made by several American lawmakers including those from the ruling

Currently four countries have been designated as state sponsor of These are Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Recent media reports suggests that US is considering in this list.

However, in its latest Country Report on Terrorism, the State Department listed Pakistan among countries that provide safe havens to terrorists.

Trump and top US officials have expressed their frustration over the fact that Pakistan has not been taking concrete steps in this regard.

First Published: Mon, November 26 2018. 07:15 IST
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