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Pakistan shared evidence with American military officials about action taken against Haqqani Network

23 August, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has shared “evidence” with the American military officials about the action taken against the Haqqani Network, the military spokesman said Tuesday. Talking to members of an Afghan media delegation, currently on a week-long visit to Pakistan, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said Pakistani security officials had informed the American military officials who visited Pakistan this month about the action against the Haqqanis.

"We have told them (American military officials) that we have taken action and will take action against the Haqqani Network and all other terrorists groups including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan," he said.

He said that Haqqanis and other terrorist groups had been eliminated from North Waziristan during the major offensive launched during 2014.

The Pakistani Embassy in Kabul has invited the Afghan media team to visit Pakistan to have direct interaction with the Pakistani political and military officials and to ask about their reservations, embassy spokesman Akhtar Munir said.

The Afghan media team, representing the leading TV channels and other important media outlets, held a two-hour discussion with the Inter Services of Public Relations (ISPR) director general, who also offered them a live presser for the Afghan TV channels.

He said that seven members of the Haqqani Network were killed in Afghanistan, whose names the Afghan government had mentioned in list handed over to Pakistan in February.

"Our intelligence has also confirmed that dozens of others mentioned in the Afghan government list operate on the Afghan side of the border," he said in a reference to what was seen as a tit-for-tat exchange of lists of wanted men after terrorist attacks had killed nearly 100 Pakistanis in attacks in the country in February.

Replying to questions about the security along the border with Afghanistan, he said that the fencing of the border with Afghanistan was likely to be completed within two years. He said that the fencing and other measures were only aimed at stopping the cross-border movement of the terrorists.

"We know there are certain reservations on the border management in Afghanistan, but these measures are necessary to stop the terrorists from entering both sides of the border. If the Afghan government has any other option, they can share it with us," he said.

The army spokesman also told the Afghan media team that the border crossings with Afghanistan, which were still closed, would be reopened in six to nine months after all measures were taken to ensure border security. "Closure of border is not an appropriate step and such steps are counterproductive for the both countries and issues cannot be settled in this way."

"We have established a lot of check posts on our side of the border and hope similar measures are taken on the other side," he said. He said that Pakistan army chief had even offered the Afghan side that Pakistan was ready to help Afghans put in place similar security measures, such as fencing of constructing forts on the Afghan side.

"Terrorists routinely launched attacks on Pakistani border posts from Afghan soil in groups of 150 in the past. But Pakistani measures on the border have reduced the threat," Maj Gen Ghafoor said.

He also reiterated Pakistan military's offer to impart training to the Afghan security forces in the Pakistani military centers.

The army spokesman called for an end to the blame game between Pakistan and Afghanistan, adding that both countries must talk to each other to address to each other's concerns. "As Pakistan military spokesman I have never leveled the allegations against Afghan government or the Afghan army for supporting Pakistani terrorists," he said. He, however, said it was widely believed in Pakistan that the Pakistani terrorists were using Afghan soil to target Pakistan.

"TTP Chief Mullah Fazlullah is in Afghanistan and he claims responsibility for attacks in Pakistan, but it does not mean that Afghan government is involved in such incidents," he said. However, he said, that India was using TTP against Pakistan.

To a question, he said Pakistan has deployed over 200,000 security personnel in the tribal regions, which had once been under the influence of the terrorist groups but now all areas have been cleared.

"There doesn't exist safe havens of terrorists in Pakistan. Pakistan Army conducted operation 'Raddul Fasaad' against all terrorists without any discrimination," he said.


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