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Concerned over the stability and security of the South Asia region, a top American diplomat has said that the US is ready to work constructively with Pakistan against the terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiiba, Jaish-e Mohammed and the Haqqani Network. "We remain concerned about the stability and security of the region, and of Pakistan itself," Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells said. As long as certain terrorist groups continue to operate and build their capabilities within Pakistan's borders, they pose a threat to Pakistan's own stability, as well as to the security of Americans in the region, she said. "It is in neither our interest nor Pakistans that Pakistan be destabilised. And so we have a mutually shared interest in not just containing these organisations, but ultimately eliminating them," Wells said in her testimony before the joint Congressional sub-committees hearing. "We are prepared to work constructively with Pakistan to move against these terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed," she said. The Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan. The group is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people. Noting that Pakistan is important to the success of the new South Asia strategy of the Trump Administration, Wells said both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been very clear that the trajectory of US relationship with Pakistan, including its security assistance, will depend on how Pakistan responds to American requests for support in implementing its strategy. During his visit to Pakistan last month, the secretary laid out specific expectations of how Pakistan can help create the conditions that will help bring the Taliban to the table, she said without giving much details. Multiple media reports had reported that the US has given a list of 75 terrorists to Pakistan for action against them. Repeating the secretary's words she said Pakistan must do more to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within its country.
The people of Pakistan have much to gain from a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, and a region that denies safe haven to terrorists. "No partnership can survive a countrys tolerance of militants and terrorists who are targeting US service members and officials," Wells said. Pakistan, she told lawmakers, shares Administrations goal for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and seeks a strong relationship with the United States. "We look to Pakistan to create the conditions that will help bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. Towards this end, the secretary stressed the importance of the government of Pakistan denying safe haven to the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network. Our approach to implementing the South Asia strategy will be informed by Pakistans action," she said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)