Crack down on all terrorist groups, US asks Pakistan
At a news briefing in Washington on Friday, the State Department’sdeputy spokesperson, Mark Toner, hailed Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operation. However, he believed Islamabad should do more to ensure its own and regional security.
He also welcomed the formation of a four-way counterterrorism alliance involving Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. He tended to reject media speculation that the US might not approve of the alliance.
Toner said: “We don’t view it in any way as counterproductive and we don’t view it as a zero-sum game that China pursues closer ties in the security field with Central Asian countries.”
In response to a query, he said Islamabad had taken some positive steps to fight terrorism, but it needed to do more. It had shut down some terrorist safe havens in the tribal region near the Afghanistan border.
However, the spokesman acknowledged Pakistan was fighting the scourge “selectively and we need to see them go after all groups, even the groups that might not threaten Pakistan itself but threaten its neighbours”.
A recent Pentagon assessment said Pakistan was not doing enough to eliminate the Haqqani network, he said: “We’ve urged the government of Pakistan to address this and to pursue closer counterterrorism cooperation with Afghanistan...”
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