Washington: The US has said President Barack Obama’s meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House last week did not set a timeline for actions against terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
“We’re not dictating to Pakistan the timeline under which they would or would not undertake operations against that or any other terrorist group,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference.
“We know that they know that these are serious threats, we know that they know how much it matters not just to the region but to the world. And it’s a difficult problem to crack,” he said.
In response to a question on an interview given by the former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf in which he said that Pakistan supported and aided terrorist organisations like LeT, Kirby said, “I didn’t see the former President’s comments.”
“All I would say is that we have a shared concern with Pakistan about violent extremism in that part of the world. Two, we know that safe havens still exist along that border region and we’ve been very plain about our concerns over those continued safe havens,” he said.
“And then three, that we’re mindful that Pakistan itself and the Pakistani people have fallen victim to terrorists, continue to follow victim to terrorists. They’ve not only lost civilians, they’ve lost soldiers. It’s a serious threat and we know that they take it seriously,” he said.
“What we’re focused on is the future and a future in, particularly in that part of the world that can lead us all to a better outcome with respect to violent extremism and to a relationship with Pakistan which can deepen and grow and strengthen with respect to countering violent extremism,” said the State Department spokesman.
Kirby said the relationship with Pakistan has been complicated at times.
“What we’re looking at, or what we’re trying to get to, is a future where that relationship deepens and grows and becomes stronger, especially with respect to countering violent extremism,” he said.
Kirby said the United States is “not unmindful that there remains safe haven, and we’re unmindful that there remain challenges in terms of dealing with those safe havens”.