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US hinting at getting tough on Pakistan with new Afghan-Pak Policy

Highlights
  • The US may be strongly considering cracking the whip on Pakistan on the issue of terror
  • A solution to Afghanistan, is 'a broader concern that incorporates India and Pakistan', the US said
  • The US state department acknowledged that the US's Afghan policy review is an issue 'a lot of people are very curious about'

In another sign that Washington is thinking of getting tough on Pakistan and terror, the US said on Friday that the ongoing review of its Afghanistan policy incorporates India and the whole South Asian region.

This assertion by the US is noteworthy, because of all the speculation that's coming out of Washington, the one that has gained the most traction is that the US is strongly considering cracking the whip on India's neighbour Pakistan on the issue of terror, something New Delhi has been demanding for a while now.

In addition to US President Donald Trump, several US lawmakers and diplomats have publicly talked of the need for Islamabad to crack down on terror safe havens in Pakistan and terror acts in Afghanistan and India being plotted on Pakistani soil.

"We are looking at this as not just a solution to Afghanistan, but also a broader concern that incorporates India and Pakistan as well as a regional solution," said US state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert in a press briefing.

She acknowledged that the US's Afghan policy review is an issue "a lot of people are very curious about".

Last month, US defence secretary James Mattis said the ongoing review of the US's Afghanistan strategy is "hard" because it has to be "wrapped into a regional context" that involves Pakistan.

When he was specifically asked whether it is " the diplomatic angle...the Pakistan angle " that was complicating matters, he acknowledged it is.

On a question about the India-China border standoff in Doklam, Nauert reiterated what she's said before, made sure to mention that the US has relationships with both India and China and was careful to not take sides.

"...we have relationships with both governments. We continue to encourage both parties to sit down and have conversations about that," said the US state department spokeswoman.

She added that the India-China border standoff is a situation the US is "closely following" since it began June 16.


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