Thursday, September 30, 2021

‘Honest concerns’ about Pakistan ‘providing safe havens’ to terrorists: US

Washington: The United States has “honest concerns” with regard to Pakistan “for a long time” over the presence of “terrorist safe havens”, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The previous Afghan government and the US have in the past criticised Pakistan for allowing the Taliban to cross over into Pakistan where they are provided safe havens and also receive medical treatment.

In a news briefing, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, “We've been very honest about our concerns with Pakistan for a long time, about the safe havens that exist on their side of the border along that spine. And those concerns are still valid today.”

He further said that Pakistan must remember to uphold its equities and responsibilities with respect to terrorism in “that part of the world”.

Kirby added that the United States is well within its rights to conduct airstrikes in Afghanistan as a means to curb the terror threat, even though its ground troops left the country over a month ago ending a 20-year war.

As Afghanistan's neighbour, Pakistan certainly has equities and responsibilities with respect to terrorism in that part of the world, Kirby was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency.

Also read: Senior Al-Qaeda leader killed in drone strike in Syria: US Report

"We continue to have candid conversations with Pakistani leaders about our concerns," he said in response to a question.

"I think it's important to continue to remind that the Pakistani people, likewise, have been rendered victim by terrorist threats that emanate from those groups and along that same border," he said, according to a PTI report.

Kirby also said that the United States is within its rights to continue drone strikes inside Afghanistan.

"We believe we have the authorities that we need to continue to protect the nation," he said.

For context, Pakistan has been under fire from political quarters across the globe for many years for providing a safe haven to terrorist outfits, including Al-Qaeda, among others. Most recently though, the erstwhile Ashraf Ghani-led government in Afghanistan, backed by the United States, raised its concerns about Islamabad providing the Taliban terrorists with a safe haven and even medical help when needed.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has accused the US of violating its Doha agreement during withdrawal of troops by continuing to fly drones over Afghan airspace.

from asianetnews

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