Top US of­fi­cial makes quiet Pak­istan visit

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - World -

IS­LAM­ABAD : A se­nior aide to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump asked Pak­istan to crack down on mil­i­tant groups and ad­dress the world com­mu­nity’s con­cerns on ter­ror fi­nanc­ing even as she called for a “new re­la­tion­ship” be­tween the two sides.

Lisa Cur­tis, the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil’s se­nior di­rec­tor for South and Cen­tral Asia, made a low-key two-day visit to Is­lam­abad af­ter bi­lat­eral ties were hit again last week when the US per­suaded mem­bers of the Fi­nan­cial Ac­tion Task Force to put Pak­istan on a watch list of na­tions with in­ad­e­quate con­trols on ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing.

The move was backed by Pak­istan’s tra­di­tional al­lies Saudi Ara­bia and China, caus­ing con­ster­na­tion in Is­lam­abad as the de facto fi­nance min­is­ter ac­cused Wash­ing­ton of try­ing to “em­bar­rass” his coun­try.

Cur­tis, who met for­eign sec­re­tary Tehmina Jan­jua, in­te­rior min­is­ter Ah­san Iqbal and the army’s chief of the gen­eral staff, Lt Gen Bi­lal Ak­bar, urged Pak­istan to “ad­dress the con­tin­u­ing pres­ence of the Haqqani Net­work and other ter­ror­ist groups within its ter­ri­tory”, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the US em­bassy.

She also re­it­er­ated the world com­mu­nity’s “long-stand­ing con­cern about on­go­ing de­fi­cien­cies in Pak­istan’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of its anti-money laun­der­ing (and) counter-ter­ror­ism fi­nance regime”.

Cur­tis, who is deputy as­sis­tant to Trump, told the Pak­istani of­fi­cials that the US “seeks to move to­ward a new re­la­tion­ship with Pak­istan, based on a shared com­mit­ment to de­feat all ter­ror­ist groups that threaten re­gional sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity.


Lisa Cur­tis

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