Washington: A top American official on Wednesday asked Pakistan to take action against the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups present within its territory, the US embassy said.
Alice Wells, the US Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, visited Islamabad this week and met officials of the Foreign Office. “Wells urged the government of Pakistan to address the continuing presence of the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups within its territory,” the embassy said in a statement.
The Haqqani network, blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people, has also carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan. In her meetings with Pakistani officials, Ambassador Wells underlined that the US seeks to move toward a new relationship with Pakistan “based on our mutual interest in realizing a stable and prosperous region.” She also acknowledged Pakistan’s “considerable sacrifices” in fighting terrorism.
Wells also emphasized that the US South Asia strategy represents an opportunity to work together for the establishment of a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, the defeat of ISIS in South Asia, and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States.
The statement from the US embassy comes days after the Trump administration suspended about USD 2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan over its failure to rein in militant groups.