Pakistan will not bow down to 'do more' diktat: sources

KARACHI: Days after the White House said it would likely announce actions to pressurise Islamabad, Pakistan has decided it will not accept the ‘do more’ mantra at any cost, Roznama Express has learnt.

During a news briefing on Tuesday, spokesperson Sarah Sanders told reporters more details [will] come out in the next 24 to 48 hours in terms of specific actions [against Pakistan].

She was speaking a day after US President Donald Trump subjected Islamabad to stern criticism, saying the country had given nothing but “lies and deceit” to Washington in return for billions of dollars.

He had also accused the country of providing safe havens to terrorists, a charge Pakistan strongly denies.

Insiders said that in light of an initial strategy, it was decided that Pakistan will limit the options to support the US. If the circumstances demand, the country might implement measures such as limiting Nato logistics within its territory.

However, if the Trump administration agrees to a policy of mutual understanding to maintain the ties, Pakistan will adopt an approach of dialogue.

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The country will, in any case, continue its efforts to eradicate terrorism.

Decisive measures

As part of the strategy, sources said, Pakistan will work on making its economy stronger and decrease imports, besides cutting expenses in case of possible sanctions. It will also strengthen its defence should a military attack takes place. Besides blocking Nato supplies, Pakistan may also refuse joint military operations with the US.

Pakistan will utilise all options for its defense in case of any untoward military measures from the US, including surgical strikes. The country will also do its best retain the exchange rate for US dollar.

International support

According to insiders, Pakistan will ensure effective diplomacy to take the international community on-board. It will use diplomatic means to communicate its stance to the allies.

In this regard, government has already planned an international conference in the federal capital to highlight Pakistan’s achievements against terrorism.

Implementing these options will depend on the approval of the prime minister, and the strategy will be finalised in consultation with Parliament and the armed forces.

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