US has been clear-eyed in talks with Pakistan on militants: State Department

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Published: May 26, 2016 1:37:22 PM

US State Department has said that Washington has been “very clear-eyed” in its interactions with Pak on activities of militant groups.

Barack Obama“We have been very clear in our interaction with Pak where we’ve believed that they need to do more to root out terrorists, US State Dept Deputy Spokesperson said. (Reuters)

The US State Department has said that Washington has been “very clear-eyed” in its interactions with Pakistan on the activities of militant groups based inside the country.

“We have been very clear-eyed and very clear in our interaction with Pakistan where we’ve believed that they need to do more to root out terrorists, who find safe haven on some of their territory, and we’re going to continue to do that,” Mark Toner, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson said. Toner refused to acknowledge that the Washington no longer trusted Islamabad as an ally and conveyed US concerns on the alleged presence of certain ‘terrorist’ groups in Pakistan.

On being asked by a reporter that the United States did not warn Pakistan before targeting Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in the Pakistani territory, did it include lack of trust on sensitive issues? Toner replied, “I think what I said just now holds, which is that operational security trumps a need to inform other governments.”

“I’m not going to get into the operational details of the strike against Mansour except to say that these are very narrow windows in any case, and it’s not just with friends and allies or partners or whoever, but in any of these instances, it’s absolutely vital to keep operational security, ” he added.

Toner said the United States had also “consistently expressed our concern to the highest levels of the government of Pakistan” about their continued tolerance for Afghan Taliban groups, including the Haqqani network.

“We’re going to continue to work with the Pakistani authorities and a full-faith effort both to give them the tools they need and the capabilities they need to confront this threat,” he said.

“And we’re going to also continue to, as we share intelligence and other information with them, to point out we believe that terrorists are finding safe haven,” he added. The Deputy Spokesperson also noted that the Haqqani network was an integral part of Taliban operations.

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