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Illinois congressman says US should tell Pakistan it will cross the border if necessary

US Congressman Adam Kinzinger has said Washington should go for any effective measures to make Islamabad comply with America’s Afghanistan strategy, even if that entails crossing the border.

“If that means more aid to do stuff, if that’s withdrawing aid to do stuff, I think that’s fine. But I think ultimately we need to make it clear that we are going to cross the border if necessary because they are not doing enough,” Kinzinger said while speaking at an event held at the Wilson Center.

He was answering a question posed by Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO of the Wilson Center, around Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan.

The Republican lawmaker, who represents the state of Illinois, is of the view that the United States should toughen up its foreign policy when it comes to its ties with Pakistan.

“I just think we need to get back to some real tough love with Pakistan,” said the lawmaker, who also serves as a Major in the US Air Force.

“I hope that when the president (Trump) is discussing his Afghan strategy, Pakistan really comes into play there,” he said.

Speaking on the possibility of developing a border along the Durand Line, Kinzinger believed that the idea was not feasible. “We’ve talked about the idea of border security and border guards with the Afghans, the problem is that they’re just so spread thin anyway right now,” said the congressman.

“But I think ultimately we need to make it clear that we are going to cross the border if necessary because they are not doing enough.”

“I think it’s important to note that the Afghan National Army (ANA) lost 140 soldiers last month in fights, so they are out there working hard.”

Contemplating on the strategies the US could adopt with Pakistan, the 39-year-old congressman said, “I think it’s a couple of things we have to use. There’s the carrot and stick, again. And I think we need to frankly look at the consequences and consider opening up strikes again, whether it’s the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, or any other bad group in Pakistan as we have before.”

“And we can’t push Pakistan away totally because that can be obviously pretty bad the other way. You have a tenuous situation between India and Pakistan as it is,” Kinzinger said.

He was also of the view that the US leadership should adopt any effective method to make Pakistan comply, whether that entailed giving more aid, withdrawing aid or going for extreme measures, such as crossing the border.

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