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USA names three Pakistanis as designated global terrorists

10 February 2018

The Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the "highest concentration" of US -designated terrorist groups in the world, the Pentagon repeatedly stresses.

President Trump has suspended an estimated $2 billion in funding for Islamabad over Pakistan's refusal to take "decisive action" against jihadist groups planning attacks against US troops and their allies from Pakistani soil, namely the Afghan Taliban and their Haqqani Network allies.

He was responding to questions from lawmakers expressing concerns over Pakistan's approach fighting terrorism.

Trump administration's decision to block $2-billion military aid to Pakistan has so far failed to achieve its objective - "forcing Islamabad to change its policies", said a report in the Dawn, Pakistan's leading daily.

Asif's comments come as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is struggling to convince Democrats in Congress to pay for a wall along United States-Mexico border to reduce the number of illegal immigrants and deadly drugs flowing into the United States from Latin America.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have been accusing one another of serving as a sanctuary for terrorists for years.

"Does the administration really believe that a simple suspension of security assistance is going to bring about a lasting commitment by Pakistan to drop support for the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqani Network".

Asked if the Pakistanis knew what the USA expected from them, Mr Sullivan said: "They understand what we expect, our suspension of security assistance continues until we see more evidence that they are in fact taking action".

Seven militants were killed in the first strike Thursday in the Pakistani border village of Gorwak in North Waziristan, once a stronghold of local and foreign militants until the military cleared them out.

But the statement also added new conditions for rebuilding USA ties with Pakistan, which may not be acceptable to Islamabad, such as seeking more restraint in Pakistan's military nuclear and missile programmes and closer alignment of the country's non-proliferation policies with those of the US. "The use of terrorism has no place in a rules-based worldwide system", he said.

"I understand it's a delicate balance for Pakistan".

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday proposed a mutually acceptable verification mechanism, arrived at with worldwide assistance, between Pakistan and Afghanistan to investigate allegations of cross border intrusion of militants. "The war is costing them much more".

USA names three Pakistanis as designated global terrorists