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Pakistan in a state of flux, says US official

IANS | Washington |

There is a very high level of tension in Pakistan between the elements of the civilian government and the military which complicates the US’ ability to have an effective dialogue with the country over combating terrorism, a senior American official said.

The remarks by the Trump administration official came as the US stepped up efforts to put pressure on Pakistan to take decisive action against the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

The US, the official said, will continue to engage with both the military and the civilian leadership and be clear and consistent about the things that it is looking for and about how it wants to work with Islamabad.

“Pakistan right now is in a state of flux as we’re looking at new elections maybe in six seven months’ time.

There is certainly a high level of tension between the military and many of the civilian elements. So, it does complicate our ability to have an effective dialogue,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

The official said it was important for the civilians and military leadership to work together to deal with extremist groups.

“We recognise there are civil military tensions which complicate our ability, but we engage with both civilian and military leaders. We make our requests very clear to both institutions,” said the White House official.

“We are simply seeking to convince the Pakistanis to change their policies toward the Taliban and the Haqqani network and to cooperate more fully with us in our Afghanistan strategy. We’re not you know evaluating the internal political situation,” the official said.