On Wednesday, hours after the UN Security Council designated Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the Trump Administration said that though Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is saying right things and trying to make some changes in the country, his military leadership also needs to take right decisions and right steps.
A senior US administration official told reporters that the US is trying to change Pakistan’s policy of supporting terrorist groups. The US officials said that it doesn’t want to get involved in the country’s internal politics and expects the Pak military to correct the situation. “We support the civilian government. We support the nascent democratic system there. We support the fact that Prime Mister Khan says the right things and appears to be trying to make some changes within Pakistan. But only time will tell if he is successful in doing that,” he added.
The senior administration official said that “So far, we do see support from the military to the direction that prime minister Khan seems to be going in”. On Wednesday, Mr. Khan said that Pakistan will crack down all terror outfits and will take initial steps in this regard. His opinion was praised by the Trump administration.
The official said, “So, we do appreciate that Pakistan is saying the right thing, has taken the initial step that we’re looking for, but we reserve judgment because we have seen backpacking in the past”.
“He is very public about wanting stability in the region, pointing out how important that is for Pakistanis to prosper and to have economic development which is one of his core campaign promises. He has directly related that goal to Pakistan being able to crack down on militancy within the border,” the official added.
“So, unfortunately, the track record (of Pakistan) is not good on this front. But we continue to remain hopeful and encouraged by the initial statements and some of the very initial steps that we have seen Pakistan taking.”
While discussing Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar’s designation as a “global terrorist”, the official added, “We think this designation is really critical and important for keeping Pakistan accountable to its commitment like the travel ban and asset freezes and other steps.”