Top US official makes quiet Pakistan visit
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.