US tells Pakistan to 'immediately arrest or expel Taliban from its soil,' Pakistan asks for proof

Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry further gave an 'open challenge' to anyone who could point to surviving safe havens, claiming that military forces had 'cleaned out' all terrorists Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 23, 2018, 09.31 AM (IST)

Just a few days after the major attack in Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel which killed around 22 people, the US White House directed Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel the Taliban's leaders who operate from Pakistani territory.

"We call on Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel the Taliban's leaders and prevent the group from using Pakistani territory to support its operations," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.

"In Afghanistan, where terrorists attacked a hotel in Kabul, such attacks on civilians only strengthen our resolve to support our Afghan partners," Sanders said.

"We commend the swift and effective response of the Afghan security forces. Afghan forces, with our support, will continue to relentlessly pursue the enemies of Afghanistan, who also seek to export terror around the world," she said.

Shortly after the instructions by the White House Pakistani ambassador to the US stated that Pakistan had already removed them and their facilities.

Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry further gave an “open challenge” to anyone who could point to surviving safe havens, claiming that military forces had “cleaned out” all terrorists, their “hideouts and sanctuaries and their IED (improvised explosive devices) factories” from Pakistan in operations since 2014 and “when somebody turns around and tells us that there are safe havens existing there we say to them please show us where”.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened on Saturday, in which at least 22 civilians were killed, including foreign nationals. The six attackers were killed by Afghan forces, the government in Kabul had said. The Afghan government did not mention Pakistan.

 

(With PTI inputs)