Haqqanis threat to regional security, US reminds Pakistan
"We have long communicated to the Pakistani government our view that militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network, continue to pose a threat to Pakistan, to the region, and to the United States,” said director of the State Department’s Press Office, Jeff Rathke.
“It’s vital that every effort is made to deny safe haven to any and all violent extremists,” the US official said in fist official US reaction to Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz’s comments.
Aziz had said Pakistan should not target militant groups that did not “pose a direct threat to the state.”
Rathke said the United States believed all terrorist groups were a threat to regional and international security.
“We will reiterate this message to Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif as well," said the US official.
State Department officials are expected to meet Pakistan Army chief Gen. Raheel later this week. The army chief is visiting the US and has held a series of meetings with senior US military officials.
Rathke, however, said that “the highest levels of the Pakistani government” had assured the US that it was their “policy to target all militant groups without distinguishing among them”.
He noted that Pakistan had already clarified its position on Aziz’s interview and “we welcome the clarification … underscoring that Pakistan is opposed to all forms of terrorism and that military operations in North Waziristan are targeting all terrorist groups.”
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