In another sign of closer ties with India, US eyes dropping Pakistan as ally
Move comes amid Washington’s push to target more than 20 terrorist groups allegedly based in country
US officials familiar with a new “AfPak” strategy, involving renewed US commitment to Afghanistan and closer ties with India, say that the Trump administration is reconsidering its strategic alliance with Pakistan, the Financial Times reports.
“No US president has come out on American national television and said such things about Pakistan,” Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan ambassador to the US, was quoted as saying in reference to recent comments from president Trump. “US policymakers are at the end of their tethers about what they see as Pakistan not helping them while promising to help them.”
“Thinking of Pakistan as an ally will continue to create problems for the next administration as it did for the last one,” Lisa Curtis, who leads South Asia policy in the National Security Council, wrote in a joint report with Mr Haqqani earlier this year.
In a rare public condemnation from the US, Trump accused Pakistan last month of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” putting more strain on an already tense relationship.
In addition to potentially revoking Pakistan’s status as a non-NATO ally, the US is weighing cutting civilian aid, conducting (more) unilateral drone strikes on Pakistani soil and imposing travel bans on officers of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.