MEA welcomes US warning to Pak on terror safe havens

RSTV Bureau

Sushma-SwarajThe Ministry of External Affairs has welcomed US President Donald Trump’s stern warning to Pakistan to not provide safe havens to terrorists.

“India welcomes US President’s resolve to confront issues of safe havens and other forms of cross border support to terrorists,” said the MEA in a statement reported by PTI.

India also welcomed  Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges faced by Afghanistan.

“India shares these concerns and objectives…We have been steadfast in extending reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan in keeping with our traditional friendship with its people. We will continue these efforts, including in partnership with other countries” External Affiars Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

While laying out his Afghanistan strategy, President Donald Trump hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” and warned that Islamabad has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists.

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond…Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists,” Trump said in his first prime-time televised address to the nation.

“No partnership can survive a country’s harbouring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace,” he added.

“For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. And that could happen,” he added.

The US President also announced fundamental changes in American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia.

Trump, in his first prime-time televised address to the nation as commander-in-chief, came down heavily on Pakistan for its support to terror groups, saying the country receives billions in US aid but continues to harbour militants.

File photo of US President Donald Trump.

File photo of US President Donald Trump.

Trump listed out three conclusions about America’s core interests in Afghanistan.

“Our nation must seek an honourable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made,” he said.

“Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable…A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists — including ISIS and al-Qaeda – would instantly fill, just as happened before September Eleventh,” he added.

Trump’s third pillar of his new strategy was to change America’s approach to Pakistan.

He slammed Pakistan for its support to terror groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so.

(With inputs from agencies)