Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
US tells Pak to crack down on terror groups
ISLAMABAD : The US on Tuesday reiterated its demand for Pakistan to act against the Haqqani Network and other terror groups operating from its soil, saying it wants to forge a “new relationship” with the country based on mutual interests.
Visiting US acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells raised the issue of cracking down on terrorists with foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua and other Pakistani interlocutors, according to a statement from the US embassy.
“Ambassador Wells urged the government of Pakistan to address the continuing presence of the Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups within its territory”, the statement said.
Wells is the first top American official to travel to Islamabad since the US suspended securityrelated aid worth nearly $2 billion over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts. The development took bilateral ties to a fresh low amid growing mistrust over the support of terror groups by Pakistan’s powerful military establishment.
During her meetings with Pakistani officials, Wells “underlined that the US seeks to move toward a new relationship with Pakistan, based on our mutual interest in realising a stable and prosperous region”, the statement said.
While acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices fighting terrorism, Wells “emphasised that the US South Asia strategy represents an opportunity to work together for the establishment of a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, the defeat of (Islamic State) in South Asia, and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the US”.
During her meeting with Wells on Monday, Janjua had protested against what she described as the Indian Army chief’s “irresponsible” remarks and the “pattern of escalation” on the LoC, and called on Washington to advise New Delhi to exercise restraint.
“She (Janjua) asked the US side to advise restraint to India and stop its escalation tactics,” said a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office after the meeting.