- Pakistanis moving at greater pace
- Pakistan shouldn’t feel isolated by US-India-Afghanistan talks
Though US Secretary of State John Kerry said Pakistan had made progress in the fight against extremism in the recent months, he urged Islamabad to push harder against militants hiding within its borders.
“It is clear that Pakistan has work to do in order to push harder against its indigenous groups that are engaged in extremist activities,” Kerry said on Wednesday, the second day of a visit to India at a time when tensions with neighbouring India rise amid more violence in the disputed region of Kashmir.
Kerry said the United States had made it clear to Islamabad that it needs to act against groups such as the Haqqani network, which have strong links with the Taliban and also the Lashkar-e-Taiba, who are suspected of operating from Pakistan to launch attacks against its neighbours India and Afghanistan.
“In fairness, the Pakistanis have suffered greatly from terrorism in their own country,” Kerry said. “All of us need to be supportive and also understanding of how difficult it is to take it on step by step.”
Without elaborating, he added: “I believe that in the last months, progress is being made and the Pakistanis are moving at a greater pace.”
The United States accuses Pakistan of not doing enough against the Haqqani militants. Pakistan denies this.
The Pakistan Army launched military operations in 2014 in the troubled North Waziristan region, which is generally believed to be the base of the Haqqani group and also the launching pad for a significant number of attacks into northern neighbor Afghanistan.
Kerry said on Tuesday that Islamabad should not feel isolated by fresh talks that are planned between the United States, India and Afghanistan next month in New York. The last time such trilateral talks were held was in 2013.
“My hope is that Pakistan as a country is not isolated by this but is encouraged by this,” Kerry said. He said had spoken to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about the need for his country to deprive any group of “sanctuary”.
No distinction among terror groups: FO
When contacted for comments over the statement of US Secretary of State John Kerry asking Islamabad to do more against terrorist outfits, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakria said that Pakistan’s valiant security forces had been in the forefront against the terrorists and there was no distinction among terror groups.
“This is a matter of fact that Pakistan is the country which has rendered maximum sacrifices in fight against terrorism. The whole world recognises the role of Pakistan against terrorists,” he added.
Referring to the statement of Senator John Kerry, the spokesperson said that the statement was itself an evidence of the effort being put in by Pakistan against terrorists.
“Let me remind you that terrorism is not a concern for a country. It’s a global phenomenon. Pakistan itself is victim of terrorism,” he said.
Zakria added that there was a need for the world to focus towards the role of various intelligence agencies being played in Pakistan.
“The confessional statement by Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Yadev is evidence of how Pakistan is being targeted by Indian through terrorist activities,” he added.
The spokesperson said that India was actually trying to shift the world focus from the atrocities being committed by regime forces in Indian Held Kashmir. He said that India was adamant not to allow the UN fact finding mission to go into occupied Kashmir to examine the plight of the Kashmiri people.