Kerry asks Sharif to take steps to deal with terror groups
US Secretary of State John Kerry has asked Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to prevent terrorists from using the country’s territory as safe havens, as he expressed strong concern over the violence in Kashmir, particularly the terror attack on an Indian army base. Kerry met Sharif on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly on Monday.
Sharif raised the issue of alleged human rights violations and killings in Kashmir and sought American help to resolve the Kashmir issue.
US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said the US wants to see more progress from Pakistan in dealing with the terror groups effectively. “We have seen some progress; we want to see more, and I think moving forward we will just continue to work closely and try to encourage greater counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan but also within the region,” Toner said.
Later, State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that Kerry “reiterated the need for Pakistan to prevent all terrorists from using Pakistani territory as safe havens, while commending recent efforts by Pakistani security forces to counter extremist violence.”
“The Prime Minister and Secretary Kerry expressed strong concern with recent violence in Kashmir – particularly the army base attack – and the need for all sides to reduce tensions,” he said.
In one of the deadliest attacks on the Indian Army in recent years, 18 soldiers were killed and as many others injured as heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in Kashmir’s Uri town early Sunday.
Kerry stressed on the need for exercising restraint in nuclear weapon programmes. According to a readout of the meeting by the Pakistan mission, Sharif asked the “US Administration and Secretary Kerry to use his good offices to help resolve bilateral issues between Pakistan and India.”
In his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Sharif again raised the Kashmir issue and asked her to convince India to stop the alleged use of force against the people in the region.
‘Designate Pak as terror sponsor state’
Meanwhile, the Indian-American community has asked the US to designate Pakistan a terror sponsor state and impose sanctions on it, following the Uri attack. “Enough is enough. It is time that Pakistan be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism,” said Jagdish Sewhani, chief of American India Public Affairs Committee.