US gen­eral sees no change in Pak­istan be­hav­iour de­spite Trump's tough line

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - -APP

WASH­ING­TON: The top US gen­eral in Afghanistan said that he had not seen a change in Pak­istan's sup­port for mil­i­tants so far, de­spite Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump tak­ing a tougher line against Islamabad. US of­fi­cials have long been frus­trated by what they see as Pak­istan's re­luc­tance to act against groups such as the Afghan Tal­iban and the Haqqani net­work that they be­lieve ex­ploit safe haven on Pak­istani soil to launch at­tacks on neigh­bour­ing Afghanistan.

In Au­gust, Trump out­lined a new strat­egy for the war in Afghanistan, chastis­ing Pak­istan over its al­leged sup­port for Afghan mil­i­tants. US of­fi­cial ex­pressed hope that re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries could im­prove after a kid­napped USCana­dian cou­ple and their three chil­dren were freed in Pak­istan in Oc­to­ber, after the cou­ple was ab­ducted in neigh­bour­ing Afghanistan. "We have been very di­rect and very clear with the Pak­ista­nis... we have not seen those changes im­ple­mented yet," Gen John Ni­chol­son told re­porters.

He added that he be­lieved that se­nior Tal­iban lead­ers were based in Pak­istan, while the lower level lead­er­ship was in Afghanistan. Pak­istan says it has done a great deal to help the US in track­ing down ter­ror­ists.

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