Trump administration considering dropping Pakistan as an ally

Long overdue and much needed.

“US weighs dropping Pakistan as an ally,” by Katrina Manson, Financial Times, September 15, 2017:

The Trump administration is considering dropping Pakistan as an ally as it examines tough measures to quell more than 20 terrorist groups it says are based in the country.

Officials familiar with the Pakistan prong of Washington’s new “AfPak” strategy — which involves an open-ended commitment in Afghanistan and praise for India — say it has yet to be fleshed out. But they have plenty of levers.

President Donald Trump last month promised to get tough on Pakistan, accusing it of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting”. It was the most public breach yet in an often rocky relationship.

“No US president has come out on American national television and said such things about Pakistan,” said Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan ambassador to the US.

“US policymakers are at the end of their tethers about what they see as Pakistan not helping them while promising to help them.”

The administration has already put $255m in military aid on hold after Mr Trump announced the policy shift. It is eyeing an escalating series of threats, which include cutting some civilian aid, conducting unilateral drone strikes on Pakistani soil and imposing travel bans on suspect officers of the ISI, the country’s intelligence agency. It could also revoke Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally or designate it a state sponsor of terrorism.

The latter options would limit weapons sales and probably affect billions of dollars in IMF and World Bank loans, along with access to global finance….

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