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Sartaj Aziz oppose crackdown on Afghan militants based in Pakistan

Sartaj-Aziz-2PAKISTAN: Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has opposed a large-scale crackdown against all extremist militants in Pakistan, warning that pushing too fast could lead to ‘blowback’ in the form of more terrorist attacks.

He was apparently gesturing towards the growing criticisms on Pakistan for failing to act against the notorious Haqqani terrorist network and the Taliban group which are having leadership councils based in the country.

“I think what we have achieved in these three years is quite remarkable,” he told Reuters, citing ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb to destroy militant hideouts in North Waziristan near the Afghan border.

Sartaj further added “But there are risks involved of how far we can go and in what sequence we should go and in what scale we should go.”

He also added that the military acted “without distinguishing between ‘good and bad’ Taliban” but suggested that seeking a large-scale crackdown on all at once would overstretch the armed forces and lead to more terrorist attacks.

“So we have to make sure that we move in a decisive way, but at a measured pace and according to our capacity, and ensuring that the blowback is manageable,” he said.

The Afghan officials are saying that the Taliban group and Haqqani network leadership councils are based in Quetta and Peshawar cities of Pakistan where they are openely convening meetings, planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan.

The criticisms against Pakistani increased following the death of the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in a drone strike in Balochistan province late in the month of May. -KP


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