In a strong criticism of the Pakistani leadership over the alleged use of Taliban as a proxy force and giving its leaders sanctuary in the country, US National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster asked Pakistan to use diplomacy and not ‘proxies’ that engage in violence to pursue its interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The NSA today arrived in Pakistan for talks on the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and discuss bilateral matters.
"As all of us have hoped for many, many years — we have hoped that Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after these groups less selectively than they have in the past," McMaster said in an interview to a Afghani channel during his latest visit to the war-torn country prior to heading for Pakistan.
"The best way to pursue their interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through the use of diplomacy, and not through the use of proxies that engage in violence," he added.
The report further said that Afghan officials aware of the discussions with McMaster, said that there was a common understanding of the threat of terrorist groups emerging from Pakistan.
"And there are other indications that the United States may be weighing a tougher stance on Pakistan, among them General McMaster's reported pick of a point person on the country who has strongly advocated that the United States stop treating Pakistan as an ally and condition any future military aid on fighting terrorist groups," The New York Times reported.
It said that many analysts, as well as some coalition partners, have been critical of the United States' uphill struggle to persuade Pakistan to crack down on the Afghan Taliban leadership, which has used Pakistan as a base for its battles in Afghanistan.
"Many people in Afghanistan are wondering about the nature of relations between the United States and Pakistan, particularly the fact that everyone recognisers the principal role of Pakistan in supporting Taliban and other terrorist groups," said Davood Moradian, the director of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies.
Moradian said the new administration realised that the prior "appeasement policy" with Pakistan had not worked and needed to be reconsidered.
With PTI Inputs