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WASHINGTON: The White House has said that President Donald Trump is not satisfied with Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and the US is holding Pakistan responsible for its actions.

“We’ve seen modest progress in terms of Pakistan’s actual acknowledgement of these (US) concerns but the President is not satisfied with progress when it comes to Pakistan,” said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah when asked if President Trump was satisfied with the efforts to implement his South Asia strategy.

Announced in August last year, the strategy spells out a plan for restoring peace and stability to Afghanistan and seeks Pakistan’s support for doing so.

“We have restored some clarity in our relationship with Pakistan. For the first time we’re holding Pakistan accou­ntable for its actions,” Mr Shah added.

The White House official also said that the US was working closely with its partners in Afghanistan to implement the Trump strategy.

“We’ve made significant progress against ISIS, reducing their presence and eliminating hundreds of fighters. We’ve eliminated their top leaders, and we’re working relentlessly to target their leadership and bases wherever they emerge,” he said.

His comments at a White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon came days after the Trump administration announced it had an international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to put Pakistan on a list of countries that had not done enough to end terrorist financing.

The watchdog ended a weeklong meeting in Paris on Friday, but did not mention Pakistan among the violators. A US State Department spokesperson, when asked to comment on Wash­ington’s move, said the FATF had not yet announced its final decision and so far “its discussions and deliberations are confidential”.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2018