Pakistan must end support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups, a top American senator said a day after meeting Pakistani leadership in Islamabad. US senator Maggie Hassan also called for finding ways to de-escalation of tension between India and Pakistan.
US Senators Hassan and Chris Van Hollen met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and officials from the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
‘It was particularly helpful to discuss with key Pakistani leaders what more can be done to pre-empt terrorist attacks and prevent the spread of terrorist ideology,’ she said.
‘It was important for us to communicate directly to Pakistan’s senior leadership that they must end support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups. In addition, amid escalating tensions in Kashmir, it’s critical that we find ways to help de-escalate the situation on both sides,’ Hassan added.
Pakistan was mobilising terror groups
A top Pentagon official has recently said the US and other countries fear that Pakistan-based militant groups could carry out terror strikes in India following the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status if Islamabad doesn’t ‘keep a lid’ on their activities.
Indian officials have repeatedly raised concerns that Pakistan was mobilising terror groups along the Line of Control (LoC) following the Centre’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
The Centre abrogated Article 370 on August 5 divesting Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and bifurcating it into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The two senators also travelled to Afghanistan and met presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah as well as several Afghan women officials who had represented the strife-torn country in talks with the Taliban.
‘Pakistan has an important role to play in stabilising Afghanistan, engaging in robust counterterrorism efforts and strengthening the global economy,’ said Senator Maggie Hassan
‘Keeping Americans safe is my top priority. Stability as well as ongoing counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan are critical to those efforts,’ said Hassan.
‘We heard directly from US and Afghan officials about the threat posed to both of our countries from IS’s growing regional affiliate,’ she added after concluding her trip to Pakistan and landing in India for meetings with the Indian leadership.
In India, Hassan will meet key political and business leaders and US embassy officials to discuss the situation in Kashmir, the US-India relationship and international trade.