Pakistan not taking action against Haqqanis, alleges Olson
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Echoing President Ashraf Ghani’s view, the Obama administration’s point man for Afghanistan and Pakistan has accused Islamabad of not taking actions against terrorist groups, in particular the Haqqani network.
“We believe Pakistan has not taken action against terrorist groups that threaten its neighbours.It is time to take action against terrorist groups more robustly, that threaten Afghanistan,” Special US Representative Richard Olson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pakistan’s stated policy was not to discriminate against terrorists, Olson said, adding the US believed there was considerable room for improvement. The US had raised at the highest level with Pakistan the need to take action against the groups that threatened, he maintained.
“We have repeatedly and frankly underscored with the most senior levels of the Pakistani leadership the need to target the Haqqani Network as part of their wider counterterrorism operations, in keeping with their commitment not to discriminate between terrorist organisations,” Olson observed.
The Obama administration, he said, shared the lawmaker’s disappointment with progress against these groups and continued to voice its concerns with Pakistani leadership often. “We will not be satisfied until Pakistan makes a decisive shift in its policy toward these externally-focused groups...
“Effective engagement with Pakistan, grounded in our important national interests, is critical to promoting the consolidation of democratic institutions and economic stability while supporting the government’s counterterrorism capabilities,” Olson remarked.
Afghan soldiers, he said, were fighting bravely in difficult conditions throughout the country. Afghan businessmen and women were working to make profits and create jobs, he noted. Civil society, free mediaand women’s rights leaders were vocal participants in public discourse, he added.
Olson said the US expected Pakistan to live up to its commitments made in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, and to take deliberate and meaningful action against all militant groups that sought to destabilise Afghanistan.
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