US urges Pak to act against ‘all’ extremists, including 26/11 accused Lakhvi

Karachi: While lauding Pakistan’s resolve to eliminate terrorism along the Afghan border, U.S. lawmakers have urged the Islamic republic to crack down on ‘all’ extremists, particularly the ones involved in the Mumbai terror attacks.

The statement came as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special assistant on foreign affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, and senior Pakistani diplomats spent two days in Washington this week, lobbying for their country.

While statements issued by the Pakistani side ignored the subject, US congressional aides said that senior lawmakers were particularly interested in the 26/11 terror attacks case, reported the Dawn.

The Congressmen urged Pakistan to pursue a different approach and “consider implementing travel restrictions, suspending portions of assistance, and sanctioning Pakistani officials that maintain relationships with designated terrorist groups”.

They argued that such an approach would send a clear signal that the U.S. and Pakistan cannot have a true strategic partnership until the latter snapped all ties with terror organisations and renounced its use as an instrument of state policy.

Congressman Ed Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee, asked Islamabad to either hand 26/11 accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi to India or present him before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The lawmakers also expressed concern over a recent decision by a Pakistani court to release all suspects in child activist Malala Yousafzai’s case for lack of evidence. (ANI)