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Donald Trump Says Pakistan 'Provides Safe Havens for Agents of Chaos, Violence and Terror'

Trump also touched on the strategic relationship with India and said that the US would like India to help them in Afghanistan, especially in the economic sector.


Updated:August 22, 2017, 10:33 AM IST
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Donald Trump Says Pakistan 'Provides Safe Havens for Agents of Chaos, Violence and Terror'
US President Donald Trump announces his strategy for the war in Afghanistan during an address to the nation from Fort Myer, Virginia, US on Tuesday (Reuters)

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Pakistan for providing “safe havens to agents of chaos and terror”. He also touched upon the strategic relationship with India and said that the US would like India to help them in Afghanistan, especially in the economic sector.

In a sharp criticism of Islamabad’s strategy of using terror as a tool, he said, “Pakistan often gives safe havens to agents of chaos, violence and terror. 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."

Trump, in a prime-time televised address, announced America’s decision on the way forward in Afghanistan.

The President slammed Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so.

“Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists. A core pillar of our new strategy in Afghanistan is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions,” he added.

Top government sources told News 18 that the US President has vindicated India's stand that Pakistan is sponsoring and supporting terrorism in the world in the name of religion.

The authorities added that the world should step up against Pakistan and stop them from sheltering terrorists, who end up destabilizing the nation. "They sheltered Osama Bin Laden and other designated terrorists. They are not only staying there but also attending open public meetings in Pakistan," the source added.

Referring to Jamaat ud Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed's newly launched political party, Milli Muslim League, the government official said, "Now, with the help of Pakistani agencies, these terrorists have launched a political party. Pakistan should take firm action and hand them over."

On the issue of US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Trump argued against a hasty withdrawal. The President said his new approach was aimed at preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for Islamist militants bent on attacking the United States.

"We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities," Trump said as he announced his South Asia policy in front of about 2,000 people from all five services and top officials of his administration.

“My original instinct was to pull out,” he said in his speech, but added that he was convinced by his national security advisers to strengthen the US ability to prevent the Taliban from ousting the US-backed government in Kabul.

Trump did not say how many US troops would be sent, but Defence Secretary James Mattis has plans on the table to send about 4,000 more to add to the 8,400 deployed in Afghanistan currently.

Seeking a bigger role for India in war-torn Afghanistan, the President said, "We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development."

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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