Fight terrorism jointly, US tells Afghanistan and Pakistan

Ashraf-NawazWASHINGTON: The United States has again urged Afghanistan and Pakistan to jointly fight the scourge of terrorism, refusing to comment on the allegation that Islamabad was involved in this week’s terrorist attack at a university in Kabul.

At least 13 were killed and 36 wounded when terrorists attacked the American University in Kabul on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani claimed that Pakistan-based terrorists had carried out the attack and telephoned Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and urged him to take immediate action against those responsible.

“We can’t comment on the responsibility for the attack,” said Elizabeth Trudeau, a spokesperson for the US State Department, when her attention was drawn to President Ghani’s claim.

“As we have done in the past, we encourage the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to work together, not only in the wake of this attack and to ensure that such attacks don’t happen again, but to increase their cooperation countering violent extremism writ large,” she added.

In reply to a question, Ms Trudeau said the US had “consistently raised” its concerns at the highest level of the government of Pakistan on the need to deny safe haven to extremists.

“We have pressed the government of Pakistan to follow up on their expressed commitment, their stated commitment, to not discriminate among terror groups regardless of their agenda or affiliation,” she said.

Asked if the United States believed Pakistan had taken adequate measures to defeat terrorism, Ms Trudeau recalled that Gen Sharif himself had promised not to discriminate while taking action against various terrorist groups. “This attack against the best and brightest of Afghanistan is a sign that we can all do more,” she added. -DN

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