US asks Pak to combat all militant groups

US asks Pak to combat all militant groupsWASHINGTON: The US has again pressed Pakistan to combat all militant outfits, including the Haqqani, network to ensure that they cannot operate from safe havens in the country.

“We continue to consult with Pakistan on regional security dynamics, and welcome the government of Pakistan’s commitment to combat all terrorists and ensure that militant groups are not able to maintain safe havens in Pakistan,” a Defense Department spokesman told PTI.

“We continue to urge Pakistan to combat all militants, including the Haqqani Network,” the spokesman said, adding that this was the message that was conveyed to Pakistan during the Pentagon visit its Army Chief General Raheel Sharif.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during his meeting with Raheel had asked him to act against groups like the Haqqani Network that threaten America and its forces operating in Afghanistan and he raised concern over terrorists operating from the country’s soil.

The spokesman said that Pakistan was using assistance provided by the US in their efforts to combat terrorism in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

With respect to the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the Department has not made any decisions regarding the Haqqani certification requirement associated with the USD 300 million of the USD 1 billion CSF FY15 appropriation available for Pakistan, the spokesman said.

The Department of Defense supports increased Pakistan-Afghanistan cooperation; the spokesman said adding that during Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit in October, both he and US President Barack Obama affirmed that regional peace and stability required the prevention of attacks across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

After his meeting with Sharif, Obama had asked Pakistan to take action against all militant groups without discrimination.

Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Afghanistan-based dreaded Haqqani network are not banned in Pakistan. India has been pressing Islamabad to take action against Saeed who has been spewing venom against India and the US.–PTI

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