The United States Friday ramped up pressure on Pakistan and asked the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government to take “sustained and irreversible” actions against terrorist groups operating from its soil, to prevent future attacks and promote regional stability. “We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council obligations to deny terrorists safe haven and block their entry to funds,” PTI quoted State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino as saying.
The statement comes in the backdrop of a Pakistan banning the Hafiz Saeed led Jamat-ud-Dawa and arresting close confidants of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. The developments came amid increasing pressure from the global community including the United Nations. In Islamabad, the Interior Ministry on Thursday announced that a total of 121 members of the proscribed groups have so far been taken into “preventive detention” across Pakistan.
“We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council obligations to deny terrorists safe haven and block their entry to funds,” Palladino said while refraining from giving a direct answer on the move at the United Nations Security Council to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
“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,” Palladino said.
Earlier in the day, China termed Pakistan its “iron brother” and said it welcomed de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan. “China hopes the two countries will get along and India, Pakistan will transform the crisis into an opportunity and will meet each other halfway,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the ghastly February 24 attack on the CRPF convoy when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the bus ferrying paramilitary personnel killing 40. Days later the Indian Air Force launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.