07:14 GMT02 December 2020
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    A top US think tank has called for the administration of Donald Trump to make it clear to Islamabad that sanctions will be imposed if Pakistan continues to be a sanctuary for the Taliban and the Haqqani network waging war in Afghanistan.

    The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report released on Monday that by supporting insurgent groups, Pakistan demonstrates that it is a threat to the US rather than an ally. And the Trump administration has to make it clear that if the situation remains unchanged, Islamabad will have to face repercussions.

    "Afghanistan is currently doing badly both in the fighting and in its civilian politics, governance, and poverty. Pakistan is still a sanctuary for the Taliban and Haqqani network and more of a threat than an ally," the report said.

    "The United States should make it clear to Pakistan that it faces a total end to aid, and the imposition of sanctions, if it continues to support the Taliban and tolerate the Haqqani network."

    Authored by Anthony H Cordesman, CSIS's chair in strategy, the report said that Afghanistan is not doing enough to justify the US' commitment, and that in order to maintain cooperation the country has to introduce a better strategy and a better approach to the war, in both military and civil dimensions.

    "It should make it clear that it can and will leave in the face of Afghan failure. If necessary, the United States should make good on such a threat," the report stated.

    "[Washington] should send a clear message to all 'partner states' that they must meet reasonable standards of performance," according to CSIS. "The United States should never bully its allies, but it also should not be bullied — or let nations slip into the kind of overdependence that ultimately undermines rather than aids them."

    Additionally, the report recommended Trump to try to persuade China that its cooperation in dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan can be beneficial for both Beijing and Washington.


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