WASHINGTON: United States once again asked Pakistan to ‘do more’ to crack down against extremism and terrorism in the country.
Briefing the newsmen in Washington on Friday, State Department Deputy Spokesman MarkToner said that United States want Pakistan to take actions to combat and delegitimize all terrorist groups operating on its soil.
When asked about the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief ‘s money laundering case, Toner referred the journalist to British government.
Asserting that India and Pakistan should adopt a “conciliatory approach” to resolve their “contentious issues”, the US has called for greater cooperation and dialogue between the two countries to bring down the recent tensions.
“Our general position on this is that we want to see greater cooperation and greater dialogue between Pakistan and India,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.
“It’s frankly to the benefit of both countries. That includes, certainly, security issues. We want to see tensions go down, and we want to see a greater cooperation between the two countries. Now, we’re not there right now, but that’s certainly our inclination,” Toner said.
Noting that the US’ position on Kashmir has not changed, Toner said it was in the interests of both Pakistan and India to see a stable and secure Afghanistan emerge from the years of fighting.
“Certainly, in the interest of regional security as well, there’s a lot of contentious issues between Pakistan and India, but the two countries we would encourage to take a more conciliatory approach to each other and to work through some of these issues for the greater good of the region,” he said.
Toner did not give any commitment when asked if the allegations of human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir submitted by two Pakistani envoys to the State Department last week would make its way into the annual human rights report of the State Department.
“I can’t speak to whether we will or we won’t. We obviously, in compiling our Human Rights Report, we get information and seek out information from a variety of sources, and we judge that information, the credibility of those, that information in compiling the report,” he said.
“We certainly will look into any credible allegations of human rights abuses wherever they occur. I can’t speak as to whether these particular abuses will find their way into the report or not. That’s part of the process for compiling the report,” Toner said.
Toner said the US position on Kashmir remains the same, which is that the two countries should work out a solution between them.
On the overall situation in Afghanistan, the spokesman said that it had been a difficult season and the situation in Helmand was of a particular concern.
He said the Taliban remain a very resilient insurgency to this date and they have continued to challenge the Afghan government forces. He said the latest attack in Helmand was just another example and another effort by the Taliban to create and sow instability and undermine the progress that the country has made over the past 15 years.
“Thus far, while the Afghan security forces have certainly been challenged, they’ve held the line and they’ve performed remarkably well,” he added. However, he said the United States wants to see an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process which still remained the best way to bring about a stable and prosperous future for Afghanistan. – APP