The US on Thursday said Pakistan cannot “pick and choose” the terrorist groups it goes after and has to target militants taking refuge on its territory who seek to harm its neighbours.
The US also rejected Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s remarks that America and India have joined hands against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The remarks by deputy spokesperson Mark Toner in his daily press briefing were in response to a question on Saeed’s remarks in the wake of India asking Pakistan to hand him over or do something about these attacks.
“... I would dismiss it (Saeed’s comments) outright,” he said.
“We have a strong bilateral relationship with Pakistan, but one that is premised on counterterrorism cooperation...,” he added. “We made it very clear that Pakistan can’t pick and choose which terrorist groups it goes after and it has to go after those groups that seek to do harm to its neighbours and may seek refuge on Pakistani soil.”
The US had earlier said it is in constant “conversation” with the Pakistani leadership on the threats posed by terror organisations like the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba operating in the region.
The dreaded Haqqani network, which is blamed for several deadly attacks on 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 that country, the Afghan government and civilian targets.
US defence secretary Ashton Carter had refused to give the necessary Congressional certification to Pakistan and blocked military aid worth $300 million to Islamabad for not taking sufficient action against the Haqqani network.