WASHINGTON : US National Security Adviser HR McMaster has said that US President Donald Trump is frustrated at Pakistan’s behaviour as it continues to provide support for terror groups, it goes after terrorist insurgent groups, “really, very selectively, and uses others as an arm of their foreign policy”.
He was referring to Tru-mp’s tweet in which he acc-used Pakistan of “deceit and lies”.
The US president stated, “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
In an interview with Voice of America, he said, “Well, I think the tweet speaks for itself. I mean, the president’s frustrated, and he values what we hope would be a partnership with Pakistan.
But he’s frustrated at Pakistan’s beh-aviour in that it continues to provide support for these gro-ups, it goes after terrorist ins-urgent groups, really, very se-lectively, and uses others as an arm of their foreign policy.”
“The president has great sympathy for the Pakistani people and in particular, how much they’ve suffered at the hands of terrorists who have victimised so many Pakis-tanis with mass murders, with that horrible mass murder in a school a few years ago. I mean, so, he empathises with the Pakistani people, and he wants to see the Pakistani government go after these groups less selectively.”
“This is not a blame game, as some would say. This is really our effort to communicate clearly to Pakistan that our relationship can no longer bear the weight of contradictions, and that we have to really begin now to work together to stabilise Afghanistan. And in a way, that would be a huge benefit to Pakistan, as well.”
“What’s frustrating at times is we see Pakistan operating against the interests of its own people by going after these groups only selectively, by providing safe havens and support bases for Taliban and Haqqani network leadership that operate out of Pakistan as they perpetuate hell in portions of Pakistan and in Afghanistan.”
Speaking about if any other country will give aid to Pakistan to compensate for the cuts made by the US, he said, “Well, I don’t think … who’s going to step in now, I think, and want Pakistan to continue its support for terrorist groups like the Haqqani network, for groups like the Taliban?
I mean, certainly it’s not in China’s interest. China has a terrorist problem on its southern border, a terrorist problem that does have connections back into Pakistan.”
“It’s not going to be any other country in the region, certainly, who will want Pakistan to continue this, really, pattern of behaviour that we’ve seen, where it goes after these groups only selectively, while it sustains and supports others who act as an arm of its foreign policy. So, I think we’re confident that … I mean, Pakistan doesn’t want to become a pariah state. Pakistan is a country with tremendous potential — human potential, economic potential. So, what we really would like to see is Pakistan act in its own interest and to stop going after these groups only selectively, and to stop providing safe havens and support bases and other forms of support for leadership.”
Responding to another question, he said, “Well, I think it would just be unwise for any Pakistani leader — I can’t imagine a Pakistani leader using nuclear weapons to extort or for blackmail. That’s the day when Pakistan. Well, I mean, does Pakistan want to become North Korea? Doesn’t look too appealing a model to me.
So, I think Pakistan could be on a path to increase security and prosperity, or it could be on a path to replicating North Korea. I think that’s an easy choice for Pakistani leaders.”