President Donald Trump warned Pakistan of consequences if it continues to provide “safe havens to terror groups” while seeking an enhanced role for India in Afghanistan . Trump, in a prime-time televised address to the nation, laid out his South Asia policy saying a “critical part” of it was to further develop US’ strategic partnership with India.

He said after a “comprehensive review”, it has been decided that the American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically.

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said. “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists,” he said, in a apparent warning to Pakistan.

The US President reached out to India seeking an enhanced role for New Delhi, especially in the economic field, to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. India, the world’s largest democracy, is a key security and economic partner of the United States, he said.

“We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development,” Trump said.

“For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. And that could happen,” he said.

“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harboring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace,” he said.

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