Washington: The threat from terror groups, particularly Haqqani network, continues to emanate from Pakistan, the US has said, dismissing Pakistani national security advisor Sartaj Aziz’s remarks that the dreaded Afghanistan-based outfit has been almost wiped out from the country.
“We recognise that there’s still threat from these terrorist groups emanating from Pakistan. We want to see Pakistan take additional steps to address some of these threats,” State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday.
“The National Security Adviser (Susan) Rice was just there (in Islamabad) and she had very frank and productive conversations with her counterparts about the continuing threat and violence in the region and ways we can best counter act it,” Toner said.
Toner was responding to a question about Aziz’s earlier statement that the infrastructure supporting Haqqani network in North Waziristan had been dismantled.
“Haqqani network is no longer present in Pakistan, and they have shifted to Afghanistan after the recent military operations in the area,” Aziz had earlier said during a meeting with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“In terms of the Haqqani network and really the violence that we see from the Taliban and the Haqqani network, we really want to double down, on trying to stop these groups from carrying out other acts of terror,” Toner said.
Earlier, the Pentagon echoed the State Department on the Haqqani network.
“We have expressed our deep concern to the government of Pakistan about terrorist sanctuaries inside its border that continues to undermine Afghanistan stability and US and coalition forces in Afghanistan,” said Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis.
“We have urged the Government of Pakistan to redouble its standing commitment on the counter terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan against all groups that pose threat to long term security to both Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.
Davis said the Haqqani network from inside Pakistan “clearly poses a threat” to US forces in Afghanistan.
“That is one of the reasons why we continue to work with the Government of Pakistan to ensure that that threat is addressed. We are hopeful that they would do what they need to do to achieve necessary progress against the Haqqani,” he said.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has not taken a decision on certifying that Pakistan is taking action against the Haqqani network that would help the Pentagon release USD 300 million under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).
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