United States Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday told Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that Islamabad must do more against Taliban and other terrorist groups, AFP reported. Abbasi, who is on a private visit to the US, met Pence on March 16 at his residence in the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.
“Vice President Pence reiterated President [Donald] Trump’s request that the government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country,” the White House said.
The US vice president also suggested that Islamabad should work closely with Washington.
The two leaders also discussed a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan, Dawn reported. “The prime minister assured the US leader that no other state wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan does, as it will be a direct beneficiary of this peace,” the newspaper quoted an unidentified official as saying.
Abbasi also met Congressman Brad Sherman, who is the House chairperson of the Asia Subcommittee and its ranking member.
The News, a Pakistani daily, quoted an unidentified official as saying that Pakistan still has not taken the action to the Trump administration’s satisfaction. “We are continuing to look for real actions and not word on the Taliban and the Haqqani sanctuaries,” the official said. “We have communicated clear to Pakistan to what we mean by decisive action.”
In June, the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body that sets standards for fighting illicit finance globally, will add the country to a watchlist of nations not doing enough to clamp down on financial operations of terrorists and terrorist groups. The decision was taken at a meeting in Paris on February 23.
In January, the Trump administration suspended security assistance to Pakistani military and demanded “decisive action” against Taliban factions based in the country.