International News

Pakistan essential for success of US policy in region: US CENTCOM chief

United States Central Command Commander General Joseph L. Votel on Friday said Pakistan is essential for the success of United States’ policy in South Asia.
The commander said that the US is implementing its policy in the region and reconciliation with the Afghan Taliban is a part of the effort.
Votel added that the policy also includes solving the long-running conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan plays an important role in solving the Afghan issue.
Earlier in January, the United States announced that it was suspending the transfer of military equipment and security-related funds to Pakistan.
The suspension of security assistance to Islamabad came after Washington accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” on fighting terrorism and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain US aid.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had also confirmed that Washington would withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan.
Haley’s statement followed an angry tweet from Trump that the US had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” for giving Pakistan billions in aid.
In August, Trump concluded a months-long review of America’s strategy to win the brutal war in Afghanistan — now entering its 17th year — and called for an increase in the tempo and intensity of strikes against the Taliban.
The aim was to persuade some Taliban factions to enter talks with the government in Kabul.
This month’s spate of bombings and Trump’s comments indicate that the end game may be further away than the White House would like.