WASHINGTON: Mike Pompeo, Director of the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), says if Pakistan doesn’t act against terror safe havens in the country the US “will do everything it can to ensure they don’t exist anymore”.
He made this comments couple of days ago and ahead of US defense secretary James Mattis’s visit to Pakistan, reported Voice of America (VOA) radio.
Pompeo said the defense secretary would deliver US President Donald Trump’s message to Pakistan that he’s very serious about tackling terror safe havens.
“In the absence of the Pakistanis achieving that, we are going to do everything we can to make sure that that safe haven no longer exists,” said Pompeo during an event at the Reagan National Defence Forum in Simi, California Saturday.
Mattis arrives in Islamabad today where he’s expected to hold talks with senior Pakistani military and government leaders on the country’s role in the Afghan reconciliation process, regional security and other bilateral issues.
The US has been accusing for years that Pakistan is shielding the Afghan Taliban which carried out terror attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan categorically denied and asserted that terror attacks inside Pakistan were in fact were operated from Afghanistan.
Trump indicated that single-minded approach would extend to US relations with troubled ally Pakistan, which consecutive US administrations have criticized for links with the Taliban and for harboring leading militants.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations,” he said warning that vital aid could be cut.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”