US asks Pak to target terrorists but won’t impose sanctions on it
“Suggestive of any kind of sanctions, we’re not there,” the State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said. He was responding to a query on a recent statement made by the former US Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad that the US now needs to seriously consider the option of imposing sanctions against Pakistan. “I don’t think we’re even at that point,” Toner said.
“I mean, we continue to have, conversations with the highest level of the government of Pakistan and our basic point in all these conversations is that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbours and eliminate all safe havens and that is what I was trying to convey to you as well,” he said.
“What we’ve received in terms of response from the Pakistani authorities is that they have assured of their intentions to do so. We have been encouraged by some of the steps they’ve taken, some of their recent counterterrorism operations along the border of Afghanistan and we’re going to continue to work with them to increase those efforts and apply more pressure on these groups,” he said.
Referring to the remarks made by the Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent trip to India and Bangladesh, Toner said the US has had very frank conversations with Pakistan’s leadership about the need to focus more efforts on those terrorist groups that are operating from within Pakistani soil.
“We continue to have that discussion with them. We have seen some efforts to make progress in that regard. We’re will continue having those conversations with them as we move forward and it is in Pakistan’s interest, it’s in Afghanistan’s interest to go after these terrorist groups, to route them out and to destroy them,” he said.
“The main goal is we want to see peace and stability in the region, and so that is going to involve efforts on Pakistan’s part as well as the ability of Afghanistan and the Afghan government to provide the stability and security to its own people. And that is our efforts we are focused on,” he said.
Pak court issues notice to govt, 7 accused in Mumbai terror attack case
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Wednesday issued notices to seven accused of the 2008 Mumbai attack case, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and the government on a plea to examine the boat used by the 10 LeT terrorists to reach the Indian coast.
“The Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad today held the Mumbai case hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi and issued notices to seven suspects and the prosecution to present arguments regarding inspection of Al-Fauz boat parked at the port city of Karachi,” said a court official. He said both the prosecution and the defence lawyers would present their arguments on September 22, the next hearing.
Last month the Islamabad High Court had set aside the trial court’s verdict in Mumbai terror attack case for not allowing a commission to Karachi for inspection of Al-Fauz. The High Court had termed the trial court’s decision as “flawed and not in accordance with law” and allowed examination of Al-Fauz. The prosecution had pleaded that vessel should be made “case property”.
Al-Fauz is in the custody of the Pakistani authorities in Karachi, from where the 10 militants, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, had left for India to carry out the Mumbai attack in November 2008.
According to the Federal Investigation Agency, the attackers had used three boats including Al Fauz to reach Mumbai from Karachi.
It said the security agencies had also traced the shop and its owner from where the culprits bought the engine and the boat while a bank and a money exchange company were also traced which were used for the transaction of money.