In what may immensely bolster India’s stated stand on the cross border terrorism, the US authorities have claimed that the threat from terrorist groups, in particular the Haqqani network, continues to emanate from inside Pakistan. The US authorities, in the process, also dismissed the series of tall claims made by the Pakistan establishment of wiping out the dreaded group responsible for audacious attacks in Afghanistan.
“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 told the press in Washington on Monday (local time).
The State Department spokesperson was responding to a question about the remarks made by advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz that military offensives in its tribal areas had almost wiped out the Haqqani network, a claim to which there are not many takers in the United States.
“The infrastructure supporting Haqqani network in North Waziristan has been dismantled,” Sartaj Aziz had said on Monday Islamabad.
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice had held a meeting with her counterpart Sartaj Aziz on Sunday in Islamabad.
Earlier, the Pentagon too had echoed the State Department on the Haqqani network, the terrorist group blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, including the bombings on the Indian embassy and the attack on Kabul Serena Hotel in 2008.
“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,” Pentagon spokesperson told the press.
“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,” the spokesperson added.
The lack of confidence expressed by the US authorities may also be detrimental to Pakistan’s interest as the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is yet to take a call on certifying Pakistan’s “action” against the Haqqani network that would help the Pentagon release USD 300 million under the Coalition Support Fund.
But what may be the biggest set-back to Pakistan, the US authorities’ disquiet has somewhat vindicated India’s stand on the cross-border terrorism and the role of Pakistan establishment in addressing that. In fact, Pakistan’s stand on the issue of terror was among the one which had led to the cancellation of NSA-level talks between the India and Pakistan late last month in New Delhi.
(With inputs from the agencies)