Washington: The US has not seen Pakistan taking sustained and decisive actions required to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, a top Trump administration official told lawmakers who demanded suspension of all American aid to Pakistan. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan told the lawmakers that Pakistan has a particularly crucial role to play in the war-torn country as without its support it will challenging to achieve the US’ objectives under the South Asia strategy.
While we’ve seen some positive steps, our assessment has been that we have not seen the sustained and decisive actions that are really required to ensure that the Taliban take this peace process seriously, she said.
“We would like to see Pakistan arrest, expel or bring to the negotiating table Taliban leadership,” Wells said in response to a question from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Ros-Lehtinen, the Congresswoman from Florida, asked Wells if she has seen any evidence that Pakistan has taken any steps to cut off the flow of arms, of fighters or support for the Taliban.
“Have we in the US allowed for any waivers or made any exceptions to military assistance to Pakistan since the suspension of the aid was announced?” the lawmaker asked.
Responding to another question from Congressman Ted Poe, Wells said she agrees with the assessment that the biggest problem in Afghanistan are the sanctuaries in Pakistan that shelter terrorists.
The Pakistan government has hidden terrorist leaders in the past, they’re a sanctuary for terrorist leaders, and somehow we still give Pakistan money with the promise that they will do better. They sweet talk us and say, ‘Oh, give us more American aid, we will go after the terrorists’. We do that every year, we continue to do it, we’ve done it for I don’t know how many years, 17, and yet nothing changes, Poe said.