The United States has again urged Pakistan to “combat and delegitimise” all terrorist groups operating on its soil, a call it has stressed with increasing urgency since the attack on the Indian Army base in Uri.
“We continue to urge Pakistan to take actions to combat and delegitimise all terrorist groups operating on its soil,” state department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said in response to a question.
The term “delegitimise” was first used by US National Security Adviser Susan Rice in a phone call with her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval after the Uri attack and on the night of the retaliatory surgical strikes by India. It has since come to be used frequently in the context of terrorist groups based in Pakistan.
The reference to “all terrorist groups” addressed a concern felt both in the US and India that Islamabad differentiates between “bad” terrorists — those who threaten Pakistan — and “good” terrorists — those that target India such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. The latter carried out the Uri attack.
But the US has said it understands that Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. “Obviously, Pakistan has suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists and violent extremists. We want to help Pakistan confront this terrorist threat,” Toner said.
He added, “We also want Pakistan to go after those terrorists who seek and sometimes find safe haven on Pakistan territory.”