White House To Announce 'Specific Actions' Against Pakistan Within Days

Maleeha Lodhi stresses that the country has sacrificed most in the war to combat international terrorism

"We shall take all decisions in this regard taking into account our national interests", he said. "We know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that", she said.

The Express Tribune noted that Islamabad refuses to "do more" to combat terrorism in South Asia.

Pakistan "receives funds from the United States to fight against terrorists, but it has not destroyed terrorist safe havens from where terrorists continuously carry out attacks in Afghanistan", he told RFE/RL on January 1. "We tried to please you on the cost of our economy, we provided tens of thousands of visas as a result of which the networks of Black Water spread across our country", he said.

Amid reports that the Trump administration may approve more drastic measures to punish Islamabad for its alleged support to certain militant groups, the army on Wednesday said Pakistan would respond to any USA action in line with the aspirations of the people.

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"The real challenges in Afghanistan were political infighting, massive corruption, phenomenal growth of drug production and expansion of ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan full of sanctuaries for multiple worldwide terrorist organizations, posing a serious and direct threat to Afghanistan, its neighbors including Pakistan and the entire region", stated Pakistani Foreign office.

This moral high ground, gifted on a platter by Trump, will further give Islamabad the fodder to accuse New Delhi of interfering in Pakistan and lobbying against it, by rehashing its accusations of the U.S.

And so, in a single tweet Trump has allowed Islamabad the moral high ground in its inevitable break up with Washington; given a frail civilian government much needed ammunition for a pretentious show of strength, in turn giving it a route to sharing the stage with the Army leadership; and allowed Pakistan to rid itself of responsibility of the many decades-long howlers that the state has been trying to dig itself out of.

Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad who has emerged as one of the vocal critic of Pakistan and has accused it of being a state sponsor of terrorism made the remarks ahead of the announcement of White House actions to pressurise Pakistan.

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Instead, the civilian rulers, which are clinging on to the government by the skin of their teeth amidst a military-led Islamist takeover of the country, have not only conducted a national security committee meeting with the same Army leadership but have even summoned the USA ambassador to explain Trump's tweet. "They can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that", Sanders said.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told local Geo TV Wednesday that the country would like to continue working with the USA but will not "compromise on national interests and prestige". More importantly, the United States has interactions and relations with India, China, Afghanistan, and Iran in a negative sense-all countries that are neighbours and around Pakistan.

"So I think it would be prudent and wise for the diplomats to try to patch this up as soon as possible, and not to push Pakistan into arms of other regional powers, who are quite willing and able to take Pakistan on board", he said.

"So the strategy should be to really reinforce those elements that America stands for and promotes and President Trump [also] believes in-good governance, accountability, lack of corruption". Earlier Thursday, Mattis said the policy on military aid to Pakistan was "still being formulated".

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