Pakistan may be at the crux of ‘Rexit,’ Trump’s decision to nominate Pompeo

Washington: CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be his next Secretary of State, is seen as an advocate of a tough policy on Pakistan.
Donald Trump, in a tweet, announced to fire Rex Tillerson as his top diplomat.
The US President said he personally decided to fire Mr Tillerson, because of the differences he had with the former Exxon CEO on a range of issues.
While he did not give a laundry list of such differences except for saying that they were not on the same page, his Afghan-Pakistan policy, in particularly the State Department’s perceived soft approach to Pakistan was one of them, if the sources are to be believed.
The State Department under Rex Tillerson of late had been advocating for a softer approach on Pakistan in the months since President Trump announced on January 1 to suspend all aid to Islamabad till the time it eliminates terrorist safe havens from within its territory.
However, the Pentagon and the intelligence community, whose workforce are the prime victim of terrorism coming out of safe havens had been advocating from a tough approach on Pakistan.
Rex Tillerson’s successor Mike Pompeo who currently is the CIA Director, National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster and the Defence Secretary Jim Mattis were seen to be on the same page when it came to Afghanistan and Pakistan, which the Trump Administration has evolved into a comprehensive South Asia Policy.
India is a central aspect of this policy.
Week’s before Trump announced his decision on Pakistan through a tweet on the wee hours of January 1, Mike Pompeo had warned Pakistan.
Appearing at the Regan Defence Forum at Simi Valley in California, in the first week of December, the CIA Director said if Pakistan does not act against terrorist safe havens in the country the US will.
The Trump administration would deal with the situation if Pakistan turned down Washington’s request to destroy safe havens, he then said.
“In the absence of the Pakistanis achieving that, we are going to do everything we can to make sure that that safe haven no longer exists,” Mr Pompeo had said.
Mike Pompeo reiterated this a week after Donald Trump announced to freeze security assistance to Pakistan.
We see the Pakistanis continuing to provide safe harbour, havens inside of Pakistan for terrorists who present risks to the United States of America, Mr Pompeo was quoted as saying by CBS.
“We are doing our best to inform the Pakistanis that this is no longer going to be acceptable. So this conditioned aid, we have given them a chance. If they fix this problem, we are happy to continue to engage with them and be their partner. But if they don’t, we are going to protect America,” Mr Pompeo said.
He was responding to questions on the decision of the Trump Administration to suspend approximately USD 2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan for its inability to take decisive actions against terrorist and militant groups operating from its soil.
“The president has made very clear that he needs Pakistan to cease being a safe haven for terrorists that threaten the United States of America, end, period, full stop,” Mr Pompeo said, reflecting on the stand taken by Donald Trump.
Donald Trump told reporters that he and Mr Pompeo are on the same page. “With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well,” the US President said.