US warns Pakistan: Ready to act unilaterally to destroy terror networks if ISI continues supporting militants
Washington insisted that Pakistan has been - and remains - a critical counter-terrorism partner in many respects as it has often been the victim of several brutal terror attacks. Photograph: (Getty)
In a stern warning to Pakistan, the United States asked its partner to go clamp down on terror networks operating in their country, and said that it will not hesitate to act alone, when necessary.
The acting under secretary on countering the financing of terrorism, Adam Szubin, told a Washington audience that the US was committed to working with Pakistan to confront terrorist operations, but asserted that Washington would not shy away from taking unilateral action.
He said that Pakistan's powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is not taking action to disrupt and destroy all existing terror networks in the country, or worse, supporting the groups.
"The problem is that there are forces within the Pakistani government - specifically in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI - that refuse to take similar steps against all the terrorist groups active in Pakistan, tolerating some groups - or even worse," Adam Szubin said. "This is a distinction we cannot stand for."
"We continue to urge our partners in Pakistan to go after all terrorist networks operating in their country. We stand ready to help them. But there should be no doubt that while we remain committed to working with Pakistan to confront ongoing terrorist financing and operations, the US will not hesitate to act alone, when necessary, to disrupt and destroy these networks," Szubin warned.
Washington insisted that Pakistan has been - and remains - a critical counter-terrorism partner in many respects as it has often been the victim of several brutal terror attacks on schools, markets and mosques.
"Pakistan has achieved success in its ongoing operations against traditional terrorist safe havens in northwest Pakistan. It has officially designated Islamic State as a terrorist organisation. And it has gone after the funding and operational capabilities of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP," he said.
The US reiterated that Pakistan has not placed adequate pressure on the Haqqani network of militants to prevent them from plotting attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, had said last month, "the Haqqanis operationally have been able to continue to conduct operations in Afghanistan. They constitute the primary threat to Americans, to coalition members and to Afghans, especially in and around Kabul." But Pakistan continues to deny the presence of militant sanctuaries on their side of the border.
(WION with inputs from agencies)