The US has exhorted Pakistan to take ‘sustained and irreversible’ action against terrorists such as Masood Azhar and stop providing a haven for banned terror groups threatening to destabilise the region.
Amidst the mounting global pressure on Pakistan to take definitive action against the terror outfits operating from its land, the US State Department’s statement against Pakistan’s penchant to support terror groups puts an additional strain on it to act against the outlawed groups.
In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, for which Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility, Pakistan has been under pressure from global powers and international organisations such as EU, FATF to take firm action against the perpetrators operating from its soil.
US State Department: Our views of Maulana Masood Azhar and Jaish e Muhammad are very clear. We reiterate our call for Pakistan to deny terrorists safe haven and block their entry to funds. We will continue to work with the sanctions committee to ensure that the list is updated. pic.twitter.com/bY3ozIb6gH
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) March 8, 2019
US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said to the reporters at his conference on Thursday, “The United States acknowledges the steps taken by Pakistan and we continue to urge Pakistan to take sustained, irreversible actions against terrorist groups that will prevent future attacks and promote regional stability”.
On the question of whether the US wants to see Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist, Palladino responded, “Our views on Masood Azhar and Jaish-e-Mohammed are well-known. Jaish-e-Mohammed is a UN-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. The US and its allies in the UN Security Council want to update the UN list of terrorist organisations and leaders.”
Capitulating to the rising pressure from the international community, Pakistan reportedly appears to be acting against some of the terrorist outfits and their leaders over the past few days. Pakistan has sealed the headquarters of proscribed terror group Jamaat-ul-Dawa and its wing FIF and detained 120 suspected terrorists as a part of its ongoing crackdown against the terror outfits. As per reports, the Pakistani establishment has held control of 160 seminaries, 32 schools, two colleges, four hospitals, 178 ambulances and 153 dispensaries linked to JuD and FIF in Punjab, Pakistan.