Washington: The US has said in clear terms that Pakistan must “change its approach” towards terrorist groups that are operating from its soil and most importantly needs to take decisive action against them.
“As the administration has said, Pakistan must change its approach,” pointed out a State Department spokesperson when asked about a question on the BRICS statement that named Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed among the terror groups that create problems in the region.
“We look to the Pakistan government to take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region,” the spokesperson said.
It is worthwhile pointing out that for the first time, the BRICS Summit in their joint declaration named Pakistan-based terrorist groups as a concern for regional security and called for action against them.
If experts are to be believed, the Xiamen declaration was significant, given that China previously repeatedly stonewalled any reference to Pakistan or terrorist groups based there.
As expected by many as soon as this was came into fray, Pakistan’s defence minister, Khurram Dastagir Khan, pretty much rejected the BRICS statement.
These organisations, they have some of their remnants in Pakistan, which we’re cleaning,” Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan told the Geo TV channel, without specifying which groups he was referring to.
“But Pakistan, we reject this thing categorically, no terrorist organisation has any complete safe havens,” he added.
But things take a bit of turn when Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif admitted that outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were operating from Pakistani soil.
“Friends (China) should not be tested (every time), particularly in the changed scenario. Instead, we should impose some restrictions on the activities of the elements like LeT and JeM, so that we can show the global community that we have put our house in order,” Asif said.