Acknowledging that Pakistan has not taken steps it promised after the announcement of the South Asia Strategy, the senior administration official said that the White House is still hopeful that Pakistan sees that it is in its interest to co-operate on the US strategy in Afghanistan.
The Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan. The group is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people.
The decision, which was based on US Defence Secretary James Mattis' report that says Islamabad has failed to take 'sufficient actions' against the terrorist group Haqqani network, comes prior to the US review of its policy on South Asian countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The US is encouraged by some signs from Kabul and Islamabad that point towards a renewed effort at improving Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, and Pakistani support for the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.