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Pompeo to Discuss Terrorism with Imran Khan

Wednesday 5 September 2018

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to Pakistan to meet the new government headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He would meet the new government leaders to “reset the relationship” so that Islamabad could take much-needed strong action against all terrorist networks, the secretary said.

Accompanied by Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pompeo would meet Imran Khan, the Pakistan army chief and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Adopting a tougher line with an ally that U.S. President Donald Trump considers unreliable, the United States halted the disbursement of Coalition Support Funds due to Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against Afghan Taliban militants operating from Pakistani soil. The United States has now withheld $800 mln from the CSF so far this year.

Gen. Dunford defended the decision of the Trump administration to cut all financial assistance to Pakistan because of the latter’s lack of progress in the fight against terrorism. He said:

The rationale for them not getting the money is very clear. It’s that we haven’t seen the progress that we need to see from them. And the very reason for this trip is to try and articulate what our expectation is, the things that they can do, the things that they expect us to do, and see if we can’t find a path forward together.

Pakistan’s new foreign minister said he will “have exchanges” with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Washington’s cancellation of a $300 mln disbursement for the Pakistani military when he visits Islamabad on Wednesday.

The financial aid could be restored if there was progress in fight against terrorism, Pompeo suggested. “There are real expectations. We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan”, he said.

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