‘Pakistan must permanently dismantle all terrorist organizations’: US responds to Pakistan’s reaction regarding the joint Indo-US statement

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US-India Joint Statement Sparks Tensions with Pakistan

In a recent development, tensions have risen between the United States, India, and Pakistan following the release of a joint statement by the US and Indian leaders. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to America, both nations issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to combating terrorism and violent extremism, specifically targeting UN-listed terrorist groups.

The joint statement received backlash from Pakistan, with the Shehbaz Sharif-led government terming it “misleading and unwarranted.” A Pakistani journalist raised concerns during a White House press conference, expressing Islamabad’s dissatisfaction with the statement. In response, US State Department official spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized that the Biden administration will continue to pressure Pakistan to dismantle militant bases within its borders. He specifically mentioned the need for Pakistan to permanently disband terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, along with their affiliated front organizations.

Miller stated, “We remain committed to working with Pakistan to address the shared threat posed by terrorist groups throughout the region. At the same time, we have also been consistent on the importance of Pakistan continuing to take steps to permanently disband all terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and their various front organizations.”

The US State Department spokesperson further emphasized that the issue would be regularly raised with Pakistani officials, and both countries would work together to counter mutual terrorist threats.

The tensions arose from the joint statement issued after Prime Minister Modi’s address to the US Congress during his state visit. The statement reiterated the need for concerted action against all UN-listed terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizb-ul-Mujhahideen. It strongly condemned cross-border terrorism and urged Pakistan to take immediate action to prevent its territory from being used for launching terrorist attacks. Additionally, it called for justice in the cases of the 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.

The statement also expressed concerns about the global misuse of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones, and information and communication technologies for terrorist purposes, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts to combat such misuse.

The joint statement sparked significant controversy in Islamabad, leading to conflicting views between the incumbent Prime Minister and his predecessor, Imran Khan. Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, labeled the statement as “misleading and unwarranted,” stating that it goes against diplomatic norms and carries political implications. Baloch expressed surprise that the reference to Pakistan was included despite the country’s close counterterrorism cooperation with the US.

The tensions resulting from the joint statement highlight the complexities surrounding the fight against terrorism in the region and the delicate diplomatic balance that needs to be maintained among the nations involved.

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