US President Donald Trump has put Pakistan on notice for providing safe haven to the Taliban and other terror organisations in its soil, Vice-President Mike Pence has said during his unannounced visit to Afghanistan.
“For too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organisations, but those days are over,” Pence told American troops at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.
“President Trump has put Pakistan on notice,” Pence said, addressing about 500 troops in a hangar decorated with Christmas decorations and massive armoured vehicles.
“As the President said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the US, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists,” the Vice-President said, issuing another stern warning to Pakistan, for which using non-state actors against its two neighbours India and Afghanistan has been part of its national security policy.
Trump, he said, has unleashed the full range of American military might.
“We’ve lifted the restrictions that limited the effectiveness of our armed forces, so you can, as the President has said, fully and swiftly wage battle against the enemy,” he said.
The Trump Administration, he said, has given the troops new authorities to directly target the terrorists and militants no matter where they hide.
He has empowered battlefield commanders with the freedom and flexibility they need to win.
Pence said this new strategy is already bearing fruit all across Afghanistan.
“American people deserve to know that with the courage of everyone gathered here, we’re making real progress in this fight for freedom in Afghanistan. We’ve dramatically increased American air strikes. And together with our Afghan partners, we’ve put the Taliban on the defensive,” he said.
“We’ve prevented them from launching a major campaign against a provincial capital for the first time in three years. We’ve targeted the Taliban’s funding as never before through renewed attacks on its drug trafficking networks, Pence saidhappy wheels
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