Deputy spokesperson for the State Department, Mark Toner, hailed Pakistan’s efforts regarding the ongoing military operations in the tribal regions of the country.
Admitting the country has suffered greatly from the menace of terrorism, Toner, said “We believe that Pakistan is taking steps to address terrorist violence, particularly focused on groups that threaten Pakistanis’ – Pakistan’s stability.”
Toner further added “They have made progress shutting down terrorist safe havens. They’ve restored government control in many parts of Pakistan that have been used as terrorist safe havens for many years. And these are important, and they’re meaningful steps for Pakistan to have made. And they’ve also come at a cost, and that cost is in – certainly in Pakistani lives.”
However, he said “At the same time – and we’ve made this point before – we’ve been very clear that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbors, and close all safe havens. And so in this regard we certainly welcome comments by General Raheel Sharif’s – Sharif, rather, on July 6, when he directed Pakistani military commanders, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures to deny any militant groups safe haven or the use of Pakistani soil to launch terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.”
The remarks by Toner comes as the Afghan officials believe the leadership councils of the Afghan militant groups, including the Taliban group and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network has remained intact despite the ongoing military operations by Pakistan.
The Afghan officials have long been raising concerns regarding the presence of the Taliban group and Haqqani network leadership councils in Pakistan.
They are saying that the two groups are having leadership councils based in both Quetta and Peshawar cities of Pakistan from where they launch attacks in Afghanistan. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES