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U.S. urges Pakistan to take ‘sustained and irreversible’ action against terrorists

121 members of the proscribed groups have so far been taken into “preventive detention” across Pakistan

The United States has noted Pakistan’s recent action against terrorists and terror organisations, including the detention of 44 individuals connected to terror groups, but wants to see sustained and irreversible action.

“…The United States notes these steps and we continue to urge Pakistan to take sustained, irreversible action against terrorist groups that will prevent future attacks and that will promote regional stability,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said in response to a question  at a Department press briefing.

“And we reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council obligations to deny terrorists safe haven and block entry to funds…,” he said.

India remains skeptical of Pakistan’s actions this week detaining individuals connected to terror and freezing assets of terror groups due to the country’s history of releasing wanted terrorists and reversing course on crackdowns. Mr. Azhar is currently not being detained. Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) chief and mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Saeed, a UN designated terrorist, was released from house arrest in November 2017.

“You’re really our people but please remain indoors until this over,” an Indian official told reporters in Washington DC on Wednesday while characterizing Pakistan’s attitude towards acting against individuals connected to terror.  The official said Pakistan’s had a “revolving door” policy towards terrorists, where arresting them meant they were kept in “luxury accommodations.”

Regarding conflicting reports that had emerged about the targets hit and the extent of the damage to a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp during the Indian air strikes of February 26 on Balakot air strikes on Balakot, the official said the point was that there “will be a price to pay” for attacks in India and that India is going to react to terror attacks.

PTI adds…

Responding to questions, Mr. Palladino refrained from giving a direct answer on the move in New York to designate JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, but said that the U.S. and its allies in the UN Security Council want to update the UN list of terrorist organisations and leaders.

“Our views on Masood Azhar and Jaish-e-Mohammed are well-known. Jaish-e-Mohammed is a United Nations-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,” he said.

Questions on United Nations sanctions committee deliberations are confidential and as such it is not something that the State Department is going to be able to comment on specific matters in that regard, he said.

“But we will continue to work with the sanctions committee to ensure that the list is updated and that it is accurate,” Palladino said.

At the U.S. Capitol, India’s ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives.

“We must stand strong against acts of terrorism and work together to improve trade between our nations,” the top Republican leader said after the meeting.

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