- "Allies do not put each other on notice," Pakistan told the US
- Pakistan said US remarks contradict what's happening on the ground
- US has criticised Pakistan's "lack of actions" against terror groups
Addressing about 500 troops in a hangar decorated with Christmas decorations and massive armoured vehicles in Afghanistan, Mr Pence warned that Pakistan has much to lose if it does not stop harbouring terrorists on its soil.
"For too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organisations, but those days are over. President Trump has put Pakistan on notice," Mr Pence told American troops yesterday at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan during an unannounced tour.
"As the President said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the US, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists," the vice president said, issuing another stern warning to Pakistan.
Reacting sharply to the remarks, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry's spokesperson said that the statement is at variance with the extensive conversations it has had with the US administration.
"On notice should be those factors responsible for exponential increase in drug production, expansion of ungoverned spaces, industrial scale corruption, breakdown of governance, and letting Daesh gain a foothold in Afghanistan," the spokesperson said.
Speaking at the Bagram airbase, Mr Pence said that President Trump has unleashed the full range of American military might. "We've lifted the restrictions that limited the effectiveness of our armed forces, so you can, as the President has said, fully and swiftly wage battle against the enemy," Mr Pence said.
The Trump administration, he said, has given troops new authorities to directly target terrorists no matter where they hide.
US has criticised Pakistan's actions against terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and the Haqqani group.
Unveiling his recent National Security Strategy President Trump had some strong words of condemnation for Pakistan and China while he praised India's role in South Asia.
President Trump has empowered battlefield commanders with the freedom and flexibility they need to win, Mr Pence said, adding the president's new strategy is already bearing fruit all across Afghanistan.