Amid pressure from the US to end terror safe havens, Pakistan has attacked the former, saying terrorists like Hafiz Saeed were considered darlings of the US a few decades ago, according to Pakistan Today. While addressing Asia Society forum on the sidelines of 72nd UN General Assembly session on Tuesday, Pakistan’ Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that Islamabad will not take the blame for terrorist outfits like the Haqqani Network.
“Don’t blame us for Haqqanis or don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds. These were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people,” Asif was quoted as saying.
In his latest Afghanistan policy, US President Donald Trump had attacked Pakistan for providing safe havens to terror outfits.
“For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. And that could happen,” Trump had said.
Clarifying the US’ new approach towards Pakistan, Trump had said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices.”
“But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harbouring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. servicemembers and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace,” he added.
Meanwhile, PTI reported today that the house arrest of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has been extended by another month by authorities in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief, has been under house arrest since January 31 this year.
It is believed that JuD is the front for the banned terror outfit Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack. LeT is accused of involvement in terrorist activities in India. It was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in 2014. The US has offered a USD 10 million bounty for Saaed.