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If Pakistan Doesn't Act On Terrorism, We Will Remove The Safe Havens On Its Soil: CIA Director

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| December 4 , 2017 , 15:41 IST

US President Donald Trump has made clear in the past as well that the bilateral relations of the US with Pakistan will be conditions-based, depending on the action Pakistan takes against the terrorist safe havens on its soil.

As Pakistan continues to take no action against terrorism and recently released globally designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group, US has increased its pressure on the nation.

Ahead of the first visit of US Secretary of Defence James Mattis to Pakistan, the director of US's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo said that if Pakistan doesn't act against terrorist safe havens in its country, the US "will do everything it can to ensure they don't exist anymore."

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According to Pompeo, Mattis, visiting Pakistan on Monday, will first ask Pakistan nicely, and deliver US President Donald Trump's message that he is very serious about tackling terror safe havens.

"In the absence of the Pakistanis achieving that, we are going to do everything we can to make sure that that safe haven no longer exists," Pompeo said.

For years the US has been saying that Pakistan is shielding militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network which conduct terror attacks in Afghanistan against the locals as well as US soldiers.

Taking a firm stand, Trump in August said that Pakistan needed to change and take action.

"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars but at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately," said Trump in an address on August 21.

However, 100 days later, Pakistan has yet to take any significant action against the Taliban, US General John Nicholson, the commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan said, adding that the Taliban is "living in comfort in Pakistan with plenty of drug money."

ALSO READ: Pakistan Needs To Deny Safe Haven To Terrorists: US

General Nicholson said that while Pakistan outlined certain steps they would take, they have not yet been visibly implemented.

"We have not seen those changes implemented yet...They (Pakistan) identified certain steps that they were going to take. We've not yet seen those steps play out...in terms of changes thus far this year, again, (Trump's) policy was announced August 21, it's now a hundred days late," said US General Nicholson.

A senior official in the Trump administration also said that the US is not satisfied with Pakistan's cooperation in the war against terror and although a change overweight is not expected, certain changes should certainly take place.

"...we have not yet seen any significant changes. We still remain hopeful. And we recognise that some of these changes take a bit of time and wouldn't necessarily occur overnight. But we will expect to see these changes within a certain time-frame. Our patience is not unlimited when it comes to the steps that we expect them to take," the official said.