US gives last chance to Pak after calling out ISI for terrorism links

Pakistan has a last chance to give up using terrorism to further its goals before the US initiates action against it, a top Trump administration official warned on Tuesday after a senior American general publicly blew the whistle on Pakistani intelligence agency ISI’s ties with the terrorist groups. “We need to to try one more time to make this strategy work with them, by, with and through the Pakistanis, and if our best efforts fail, the President is prepared to take whatever steps are necessary,” Trump’s defence secretary Jim Mattis said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing. The warning came hours ahead of Pakistan’s foreign minister Khwaja Asif’s meetings in Washington with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson, ostensibly to rebuild ties with the US.

Asif and his Pakistani team have tried to brazen it out in the US in meetings over the last several days, arguing that Pakistan has been successful in its counter-terrorism efforts and it is the India-Afghanistan alliance that is causing trouble in Pakistan. However, US officials ad generals under President Trump bluntly and publicly called out Pakistan’s bluff. “It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups,” Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, in the most direct indictment heard in recent years.

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