Pakistan pursues zero-tolerance approach against all militants, Asif tells Tillerson

Posted October 07, 2017

Asif urged Indian leaders not to consider such actions as it could lead to disastrous consequences. He is on a USA visit to present his point after the Trump administration had openly accused Pakistan of helping the terror organisations.

Nevertheless, the major sticking point between the USA and Pakistan remains the question of safe havens for the militants on the Pakistani soil notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan has refuted this at the worldwide forum as well as bilateral interactions with the U.S. diplomats.

He added that Pakistan is "extremely concerned about safe havens of terrorists who are mostly operating from ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan which are more than 40 per cent of the total area of the country". He insisted Pakistan has wiped out militant hideouts on its soil with little help from the USA, which has restricted military assistance to Pakistan, and it can't be blamed for the violence in Afghanistan. "We are not saying that we are saints".

We will have to convince the United States about the veracity of our taken position on the issue through concrete and verifiable steps. "But since the last three, four years, we are wholeheartedly, single mindedly, we are targeting these terrorists", he added.

"It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups", Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford had informed the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

At the State Department briefing, a journalist pointed out that when the new US strategy was unveiled, the language about US-Pakistani ties was much harsher than what Secretary Tillerson used in his remarks after the meeting. He did not elaborate on what those steps might be.

Also, the Indian Army has once again warned Pakistan that it should stop helping terrorists across the Line of Control (de facto border).

Pakistan can have strong economic benefits from India if it finds a way to carry out its worldwide responsibilities and brings an end to any kind of terror safe havens on its soil, a top United States official told lawmakers.

"We typically don't provide the fulsome types of readouts, we don't do a play-by-play, a blow-by-blow of everything that happens in our private diplomatic conversations", the spokesperson responded. "Pakistan believes that unless there is stability in Afghanistan, the dividends of peace in the region would continue to elude us". "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately", Trump said at the time.

"There was also a consensus on regular and focused dialogue at multiple levels to evolve bilateral process for minimizing misunderstanding, managing crisis situations and enhancing cooperation in order to bring peace and stability in the region".