US asks Pakistan to do more to confront terror threat

Washington, Sep 1 (IANS) Asking Islamabad to do more to confront terror groups based in Pakistan, the US says the issue will be on the agenda when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comes to Washington next month.

During her recent visit to Islamabad, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice invited Sharif to visit the White House in late October, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

“And we certainly are looking forward to that visit. There are obviously a lot of important issues to discuss,” he said.

“We have indicated on a number of occasions that there is more work we believe that the Pakistani government can do to confront extremist groups and others that pose a security threat to the interest of the Pakistani people as well as the national security interests of the US,” Earnest said.

“And that certainly was part of the discussion that Ambassador Rice had with the Pakistani officials, and I’m confident that will be on the agenda when Sharif visits the US later this fall,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner said that Rice, in her meetings with Pakistani leaders, “shared our assessment of the sources of regional violence as well as discussed ways to reduce this violence and to return the region to peace and stability.

“It’s a very dynamic region, we all know that. And we continue to consult with Pakistan and its neighbours to assess the challenges of the threat environment and what responses need to be made.”

Toner said Rice “had very frank and productive conversations with her counterparts about the continuing threat and violence in the region and ways we can best counteract it.

“But 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, if you will, on trying to stop these groups from carrying out other acts of terror.

“We recognize that there’s still a threat from these terrorist groups emanating from Pakistan. We want to see Pakistan take additional steps to address some of these threats,” he said.

Toner said ties between New Delhi and Islamabad were “really a matter between the two countries, but we certainly want to see a reduction in tensions between India and Pakistan.

“It’s in the interests of everyone in the region and certainly everyone in the world. So as much as there can be dialogue there, as much as there can be a reduction in tensions, we would encourage that,” he said.

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