Washington: Pakistan has taken a number of "important" steps against terrorist groups following the Pulwama attack, but they are still reversible, said a top US official on Wednesday, and urged Pakistani leaders to take sustainable action against terrorists active in the country .
Terrorist organizations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) will continue to pose a serious risk to international peace, as long as they can operate freely in Pakistan, Alice G Wells, Senior State Department Officer for South Africa. and Central Asian affairs, said the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of the House for Asia, the Pacific and non-proliferation.
"On the broader issue of counter-terrorism, Pulwama's terrorist attack in February that triggered a crisis between India and Pakistan underlined the importance and immediate need to halt terrorist activities in the region," she said in a prepared statement.
The subcommittee of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday on US interests in South Asia and the 2020 budget.
"We continue to urge Pakistani leaders to deliver on their promises to take sustainable and irreversible actions against terrorist groups operating within the borders of the country, which is necessary for the long-term stability and prosperity of the region , she said.
In recent months, we have seen Pakistan detain some militants and seize assets from front organizations that raise funds for terrorist groups. While these steps are important, they are still reversible, she told lawmakers.
She claims that Pakistan should support and further develop these measures, including by prosecuting terrorist leaders.
At the multilateral level, on 1 May we succeeded in enumerating JeM leader Masood Azhar at the UN Sanctions Committee 1267, a feat that has been in the works for ten years. His list sends an important message that the international community will not tolerate terrorism, she said.
Wells said the United States relationship with Pakistan is still one of the most complex and most forthcoming.
In line with the Trump government's South Asian strategy, its approach to Pakistan has largely focused on ensuring Islamabad & # 39; s support for the Afghan peace process and for Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to deliver sustainable and irreversible actions. against all militant groups operating from its territory, she said.
Our involvement with Pakistan in non-proliferation issues is also crucial. Both the US and Pakistan attach great importance to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, we remain concerned about the development by Pakistan of certain categories of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, Wells said.
Regarding Afghan reconciliation, she said: "We recognize that Pakistan has taken steps to encourage the Taliban to participate in peace negotiations, which has been important for the progress we have made so far."
However, much more needs to be done to achieve our ultimate goal of a peaceful Afghanistan without terrorist groups, she said.
Pakistani officials are right to say that no other country will benefit more from a peaceful Afghanistan than Pakistan, and we expect Pakistan to continue to play a constructive role in reconciliation efforts, she added.
Wells said that sustainable progress in these two issues of reconciliation and the fight against terrorism will be central to a renewed bilateral relationship. We believe in the potential of the US-Pakistan relationship to promote regional stability and economic prosperity, she said.
In the following year's budget, she said that the Trump administration will focus civil aid programming on priority areas, such as building capacity to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; building law enforcement capacity to fight crime and terrorism; and supporting economic development that can expand US business ties with Pakistan.
It will also focus on tackling communicable diseases that threaten both countries; support for civil society and religious freedom; and working with Pakistan to ensure that the communities in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan are stable and cannot be used as a basis by terrorists, she said.
The request reflects the path of our relationship from an aid focus to a more trade-based relationship, and the bright economic future that we believe could create a stronger US-Pakistan partnership for Pakistan and the region, should Pakistan continue to deliver on its promise to fight terrorism and promote peace in Afghanistan, Wells said.
. (tagsToTranslate) Afghanistan (t) donald trump (t) Imran Khan (t) Islamabad (t) Jaish-e-Muhammad (t) Lashkar-e-Taiba (t) Masood Azhar (t) pakistan (t) pulwama (t) terrorism (t) United States