US Alerts Pak Over Terror Safe Heavens


Washington: The US has said it has voiced concern to the Pakistani leadership over the country’s tolerance of terror safe havens for Afghan Taliban groups like the dreaded Haqqani Network, days after India and Afghanistan hit out at Islamabad for its support to extremist outfits.

“We have consistently expressed our concerns to the highest levels of Government of Pakistan about their continued tolerance for Afghan Taliban groups such as the Haqqani Network operating from Pakistan soil,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters.

“We continue to encourage the Government of Pakistan and Afghanistan, rather — both governments to cooperate in their counter-terrorism operations and efforts because that’s only going to contribute to regional stability,” Toner said in response to a question.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi met Under Secretary of State Tony Blinken on December 5.

“They discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including regional stability and counter-terrorism cooperation,” Toner said.

Toners remarks come days after India and Afghanistan hit out at an isolated Pakistan at the Heart of Asia conference for sponsoring and supporting terrorism and called for “resolute action” against terrorists as well as their masters.

Short of naming Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his inaugural address at the Heart of Asia meet had said, “The growing arc of terrorist violence endangers our entire region. As such, support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had accused Pakistan of launching an “undeclared war” against his country by covertly supporting terror networks including the Taliban.