Washington, Sept 1: The US has dismissed top Pakistani diplomat’s claim that the dreaded group, the Haqqani network, responsible for audacious attacks in Afghanistan has been wiped out.
State department Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference on Monday, “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.”
Mark Toner 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,” Aziz had said on Monday.
“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.
“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, which appears contrary to Aziz’s claim that the Haqqani network no longer exists in Pakistan.
Earlier, the Pentagon echoed the State Department on the Haqqani network, the dreaded group blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, including the Indian embassy bombing 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 spokesman Capt Jeff Davis told reporters during an off camera news conference.
Davis said the Haqqani network from inside Pakistan “clearly poses a threat” to US forces in Afghanistan.
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.
(With Agency Inputs)