‘Proliferation of Pakistani N-programme a threat for US’

‘Proliferation of Pakistani N-programme a threat for US’

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WASHINGTON: The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has said that there are five big issues that threaten the American security and one of them is proliferation of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Counting the five threats the US is facing, while giving an interview to an American radio broadcaster, the US secretary of state said: ““It’s the threat that we’ve talked about today from China, the nuclear proliferation risk that extends from Pakistan, through all those folks who have these weapon systems places like North Korea where they can sell these weapons. I think I’m at five already but I could give you a whole list of threats that I think we can effect change on in a way that will really make a difference for the security of the American people.”

He blamed Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists, adding that no other administration but the current administration had taken some action against Pakistan on the issue. He said he personally took terrorism very seriously because he had lost a lot of friends in the war against terror.

“Well we’ve taken actions … against Pakistan that no other administration has taken. … We need Pakistan to do more. They have to stop harboring this terror. We saw what happened with India. The conflict that rose there as a result of terrorist that departed from Pakistan. … They need to stop harboring terrorists.”

Pompeo said the US Administration has learnt a lot from the 9/11 terror attack and put pressure on the Pakistan government to do more.

Commenting on the recent conflict between Pakistan and India, the secretary said it was initiated because of the cross-border terrorism. He emphasised on Pakistan to take further action against such terrorists and stop providing alleged safe havens to them.

Replying to a question regarding the Taliban’s relationship with al-Qaeda and the recent talks with the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, Pompeo said he cannot say anything definite about the issue. He said the US is working for final resolution of the issue in Afghanistan and trying to take steps for political reconciliation.

Pompeo said that Zalmay Khalilzad went to Doha for talks and returned yesterday, adding that there were some advancement in talks on the issue of Taliban and the Afghan government. He said the US wanted both should talk to each other to resolve the issue.

“There’s no deal at thispoint. We don’t have final resolution there but we are working towards a political reconciliation. We’ve been hard at it Ambassador Khalilzad has been on the ground in Doha for six or eight days back I think yesterday. We’ve made some progress both with the Afghan government and with the Taliban. We now need them to talk to each other. President’s made clear his objective here he wants to end this endless war. But he wants to do it in a way that we don’t increase risk to the United States from terror acts coming from Afghanistan. I believe we can achieve both of those groups,” Pompeo said.

Talking about US President, Pompeo said Trump wanted to end the war but he also wanted to ensure no terror attack should ever take place in future on America.

Talking about the recent attacks of the Taliban on Afghan forces, in which 50 Afghan personnel were abducted and one week before that at least 70 were killed, the secretary of state said that such attacks did not weaken the position of the coalition and Afghan forces. He said he knew who are sitting in front of the table for peace talks, saying but they want America to be safe.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States and North Korea are trying to get the “sequencing” right in talks to end the regime’s nuclear weapons program and open a brighter future for the country.

“I can’t say much about the details of the negotiation as those are important private conversations,” the top US diplomat said, when asked about the failure to produce an agreement at last month’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “But it’s clearly a range of issues around timing and sequencing and how it is we achieve this.” He said Trump’s commitment to a brighter future for the North Korean people is “very, very real.”

“But it must follow — it has to follow the verified denuclearisation of North Korea,” he said. “And getting that sequencing right and getting it laid out in a way that each of the parties can agree to and take down the tension level along the North and South Korean border, it matters to the people of Japan and South Korea, our important partners, and it matters to the whole world.”

Trump and Kim met in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 27 and 28 to flesh out an agreement they reached at their first summit in Singapore in June. The agreement committed the North to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the US. The second summit ended with no deal due to disagreements over the extent of North Korea’s denuclearization and US sanctions relief.

“We believe we’re still moving forward. It’s certainly difficult — we knew it would be,” Pompeo. “We made a little bit more progress in Hanoi, now three weeks back, when President Trump traveled there to meet with Chairman Kim. We’ll re-engage with him,” he said.

“We still haven’t made the progress we need to make on denuclearisation. The conversations certainly continue. I hope we can achieve that,” he added, noting that was Kim’s “promise” to the world at his summit with Trump in Singapore.__The News

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