In yet another setback for Pakistan, the United States Department of State today said that Pakistan ought to stop giving access to terrorists and terrorists groups. John Kirby, spokesperson for the aforementioned department issued this warning to Pakistan a day after the White House backed India’s right to defend itself as with any other country, in view of the recent surgical strikes.
“As I have said before, we continue to want to see perpetrators of Mumbai attack brought to justice. We continue to urge Pakistan to take steps to shut down access to areas inside their borders to terrorists, terrorist individuals and groups,” said Kirby.
On Wednesday, making a rare appearance before a Washington audience, Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, said that India-US ties are the “most dynamic relationship” for the US as he listed the Obama administration’s achievements in strengthening the relationship between the two largest democracies of the world.
“It (Uri) was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemned this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack. Every country has a right to self defence. But in a heavily militarised relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint,” he said responding to a question on the Uri attack.
Talking about the Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida being on the Exit Control List, Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that, “Instead of targeting the press, Pakistan should focus on ending its sanctuary for the Haqqani network.”
Cyril Almeida, a columnist and reporter for the Dawn, tweeted that he has been told he has been put on ‘Exit Control List’ – a system of border control maintained by Pakistan government under an ordinance which allows it to bar people whose names appear on the list from leaving the country. To which, Kirby asserted that ‘freedom of press’ was an issue that the US continues to raise regularly with the Government of Pakistan, including concerns about the difficulties and the dangers that journalists face there.
“I’m aware of the reports of restrictions on Mr. (Cyril) Almeida’s travel. I would refer you to the government of Pakistan for information on that. On press freedom, it’s obviously an issue that we continue to raise regularly with the government of Pakistan, including our concerns about the difficulties and the dangers that journalists face there,” he said.