U.S. pullout from Afghanistan | International

Have been in communication with Pakistan about Taliban's safe havens: Pentagon

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Washington.   | Photo Credit: AP

The US has been in communication with Pakistan about how to close down the safe havens used by the Taliban to refurbish and replenish themselves, the Pentagon has said.

The comments by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby on Thursday came as President Joe Biden announced that America’s military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31.

“The safe havens along that border have historically been a problem. There's no question about that. We know that the Taliban has been able to use safe havens along --that spine to refurbish, to retrain, to replenish themselves, to plan and that is something that we are in constant communication with-- Pakistan about,” Mr Kirby told reporters at a news conference.

Mr Kirby said that it's too easy to forget that Pakistan itself has become a victim to terrorist networks operating out of some of those safe havens.

“So it is a problem that they share too. And we're going to continue to work with them about how to better close down those safe havens,” he said.

He refrained from divulging details of US’s communication with Pakistan.

“I'm certainly not gonna divulge conversations that we're having with Pakistani leaders. This is something that we routinely talk to Pakistan about. It is a concern the Pakistanis share. And they too have suffered at the hands of these groups operating out of those safe havens,” he said.

“It's a difficult problem to solve. We know there's more work that needs to be done. And we are gonna continue to have those conversations with our Pakistani counterparts,” he said in response to a question.

The Taliban militants have seized dozens of districts in Afghanistan in recent weeks and are now thought to control about a third of the country, ahead of the withdrawal of US and Western troops from Afghanistan.

Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants that they would prevent extremist groups from operating in areas they control.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 10:36:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/have-been-in-communication-with-pakistan-about-talibans-safe-havens-pentagon/article35227297.ece

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