‘Honest concerns’ about terrorist safe havens in Pakistan: Pentagon

The United States has been very honest about its concerns for terrorists’ safe havens in Pakistan that exist on their side of the border with Afghanistan, the Pentagon said, adding the concerns are still valid

Oct 01, 2021
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Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby

The United States has been very honest about its concerns for terrorists’ safe havens in Pakistan that exist on their side of the border with Afghanistan, the Pentagon said, adding the concerns are still valid. 

“We've been very honest about our concerns with Pakistan for a long time, about the safe havens that exist on their side of the border along that spine. And those concerns are still valid today,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Thursday at a news conference.

He also added that they continue to have “candid conversations” regarding this with Pakistani leadership. “As Afghanistan's neighbor, Pakistan certainly has equities and responsibilities with respect to terrorism in that part of the world,” Kirby said.

The Pakistani people, he said, have been rendered victim by terrorist threats that emanate from those groups and along that same border. 

In the last two decades, the US has repeatedly raised the issue of terror sanctuaries along the Af-PAK border and Taliban leaders’ safe houses in Pakistan cities. On the other hand, Pakistan continues to deny these allegations, arguing they themselves are victims of terror. 

However, the statements do not absolve Pakistan of its dual policy, making the distinction between good and bad militants. 

On Taliban leaders, Pakistan started defending their presence lately--especially, when the group got sort of legitimacy after signing the Doha accord in February 2020--arguing that there are over 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and they are part of them. 

Recently, the Taliban has warned the US against violating their air space over the movement of drones, saying, “it will have consequences.” 

Kirby on Thursday defended the US position, saying, “We have the authorities that we need to continue to defend our interests and the security of the American people there and around the world, and we're going to do that.”

(SAM)