Washington: The US must declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, a former top senator who was instrumental in imposing tough sanctions on Pakistan in 1990s has said as he welcomed President Donald Trump’s decision to elevate ties with India.
Trump criticised Pakistan for providing safe havens to terror groups that kill Americans in Afghanistan while announcing his new Afghan and South Asia policy. He also warned Pakistan that it has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists.
With the new South Asia strategy, the US has moved closer to India and the Trump administration has elevated India to a new level, said former Republican Senator Larry Pressler, who is known in South Asia for his famous ‘Pressler Amendment’.
Pressler advocated the amendment, enforced in 1990 when the then President George H W Bush could not certify that Pakistan was not developing a nuclear weapon.
The amendment banned most US economic and military assistance to Pakistan unless the president certified annually that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device.
“We have always treated India and Pakistan equally.
Theoretically for the first time president and the Secretary of State have said that we are going to treat India at a higher level,” Pressler said.
“I think, it’s good news for India. I think Pakistan should realise (this). I wish he (Trump) would declare them a terrorist state. (But) I don’t think he’s going quite that far,” the 75-year-old former Republican Senator from South Dakota said.
He also said China will not “embrace” Pakistan as much as they say because they recognise that Pakistan is a very “unreliable ally” and they have been dishonest so much that is caught up with them finally, Pressler said in response to a question whether Islamabad will seek more support from Beijing after Trump’s outburst.
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