The United States has noted Pakistan’s recent action against terrorists and terror organisations, including the detention of 44 individuals connected to terror groups, but wants to see sustained and irreversible action.
“…The United States notes these steps and we continue to urge Pakistan to take sustained, irreversible action against terrorist groups that will prevent future attacks and that will promote regional stability,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said in response to a question from The Hindu at a Department press briefing.
“And we reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council obligations to deny terrorists safe haven and block entry to funds…,” he said.
India remains skeptical of Pakistan’s action this week of detaining individuals connected to terror and freezing assets of terror groups due to Islamabad’s history of releasing wanted terrorists and reversing course on crackdowns. Masood Azhar, founder-leader of terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed,is currently not being detained. Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) chief and mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Saeed, a United Nations-designated terrorist, was released from house arrest in November 2017.
“Revolving door” policy of Pakistan
“You’re really our people but please remain indoors until this is over,” an Indian official told reporters in Washington DC on Wednesday while characterising Pakistan’s attitude towards acting against individuals connected to terror. Pakistan had a “revolving door” policy towards terrorists, where arresting them meant they were kept in “luxury accommodations.”
On conflicting reports about the targets hit and the extent of the damage to a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp during India's February 26 air strike on Balakot in Pakistan , the official said the point was that there “will be a price to pay” for attacks in India and that India is going to react to terror attacks.
Mr. Palladino refrained from giving a direct answer to the move in New York to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, but said the U.S. and its allies in the UN Security Council wanted to update the UN list of terrorist organisations and leaders.
“Our views on Masood Azhar and Jaish-e-Mohammed are well-known. Jaish-e-Mohammed is a United Nations-designated terrorist group that has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability. Masood Azhar is the founder and leader of JeM,” he said.
Questions on United Nations sanctions committee deliberations were confidential and as such it was not something that the State Department was going to be able to comment on specific matters in that regard, he said.
“But we will continue to work with the sanctions committee to ensure that the list is updated and that it is accurate,” Mr. Palladino said.
India’s ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives.
“We must stand strong against acts of terrorism and work together to improve trade between our nations,” the top Republican leader said after the meeting.