–Curtis says int’l community is concerned about deficiencies in Pakistan’s implementation of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism finance regime
–Key Trump aide calls for more action against Haqqani Network, other terror outfits
–Pakistanis would always defy pressure tactics, Ahsan Iqbal tells US delegation
ISLAMABAD: A top American official has asked Pakistan to act against the Haqqani Network and other militant groups and address the international community’s concerns about terror financing, the US embassy said on Tuesday.
Deputy Assistant to the President and the US National Security Council’s Senior Director for South and Central Asia Lisa Curtis made the remarks during her meetings with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Chief of the General Staff Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, it said.
“Curtis urged the government of Pakistan to address the continuing presence of the Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups within its territory, and reiterated the international community’s long-standing concern about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan’s implementation of its anti-money laundering/ counter-terrorism finance regime,” the embassy said in a statement.
The Haqqani Network, blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people, has also carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan.
In her meetings with Pakistani officials, Curtis said that the US seeks to move toward a new relationship with Pakistan, based on a shared commitment to defeat all terrorist groups that threaten regional stability and security as well as on a shared vision of a peaceful future for Afghanistan.
She acknowledged Pakistan’s considerable sacrifices fighting terrorism.
She emphasised that America’s South Asia strategy represents an opportunity to work together to bring about a stable, peaceful Afghanistan which would enable the dignified return of Afghan refugees to their homeland.
She said the strategy would help to defeat of ISIS in South Asia and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States.
A source privy to the dialogue informed Pakistan Today that during the talks, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the US delegation that Pakistanis are a resilient nation and they would always defy pressure tactics. “Pakistan could jointly work with and the US for regional peace if treated respectfully. Hence, the basis of a relationship between Pakistan and US should be shared economic development, besides security issues,” the source, quoting the minister, said.
The source further said that Ahsan informed the US official that for trust building and harmony between the two states, joint efforts were a must to defeat the menace of terrorism, and added that Pakistan sincerely believed in durable peace in Afghanistan.
Lisa Curtis, commonly known as an anti-Pakistan hawk in the US establishment, visited Pakistan this week after the US made extra efforts to put Islamabad on the ‘Grey List’ of Financial Action Task Force in a meeting held in Paris.
Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted about Curtis’ meeting with foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua. He did not provide further details of the meeting.
Relations between Pakistan and US are under stress due to pressure on Islamabad to take decisive action against the presence of militant groups on its soil. Pakistan denies the presence of any terror group on its soil.