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U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Dunford, placed all of the blame for Pakistan's support of terrorist groups on the ISI during a hearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"Mattis and Dunford essentially absolved Pakistan government and the military of any responsibility for both incubating and supporting regional and global jihadist organizations," said Bill Roggio, an American commentator on military affairs, in an article published in the FDD's Long War Journal (LWJ).
However, Mattis asserted that the United States would try "one more time" to work with Pakistan before it turns to options to address Islamabad's alleged support for militant groups.
Meanwhile, Dunford had accused ISI of having ties with 'terrorist groups' during Armed Services Committee hearing.
"It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups," The Hill quoted Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford as saying.
Mattis also noted Pakistan's complicity with terrorist attacks in South Asia.
"Pakistan has a convoluted history with terrorism. There can be little doubt that there have been terrorist groups that have used Pakistan as a haven for attacks outwardly, and not just towards Afghanistan. We've seen the attacks on India, as well," Mattis stated.
Later on, Mattis said that the "ISI appears to run its own foreign policy."
"Mattis and Dunford went out of their way to praise the Pakistani military and government for 'fighting terrorists,' but they failed to explain that the Pakistani state only battles jihadists groups that threaten it, such as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan," Roggio said adding that these groups are referred to as 'bad Taliban', as they attack Pakistan.
Roggio further said that while the ISI is a driving force in devising and executing Pakistan's policy of supporting terrorist outfits such as the Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, Hizbul Mujahideen, and other groups; the government and the military support these efforts.
He accused Pakistan of using terror groups, which are referred to as "good Taliban," to execute its foreign policy goals of weakening India's control of Kashmir and Jammu, and establishing a pro-Pakistan Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Acknowledging that global terrorism poses a threat to the world, Mattis had recently hit out at countries harbouring terrorists, saying 'there can be no tolerance of terrorist safe havens'.
In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Mattis, during his two-day visit to India, said,"There can be no tolerance of terror safe havens as global leaders India and the United States resolve to work together to eradicate this scourge."
Trump had recently criticised Pakistan for offering safe haven to "agents of chaos" while announcing US policy on Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been criticised many times for having links with the Taliban and for harbouring slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The US had also withheld the disbursement of USD 350 million aid to Pakistan after Mattis informed the Congress that Islamabad has not taken sufficient measures to counter the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.
Roggio suggested Pakistan of arresting the Taliban's leadership, and closing the training camps, madrassas, recruiting centers, financial hubs, and other support networks that are based within its border if Islamabad wants to show its seriousness good faith in fighting terrorism and stabilizing South Asia.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)