nsucurrent.com February 20, 2018

No safe haven for terrorists on Pakistan's soil: Khurram Dastgir

07 September 2017, 01:55 | Colleen Roy

JeM chief Maulana Masood AzharReuters

JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar

With the BRICS declaration for the first time naming Pakistan-based anti-India terror groups like the LeT and JeM for their violent activities, an editorial in Dawn on Wednesday noted that Islamabad "must not make the mistake of dismissing the signal" from the five-member bloc.

During the visit, the foreign minister will hold meetings with China's State Councillor for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Asif conveyed that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Afghanistan, and is prepared to work with Afghanistan in all fields, including political, economic, trade and transit, security, and others fields for the progress and prosperity of the two countries.

It noted that while the presence of India in the bloc "clearly influenced the language of the declaration in implicitly pointing towards Pakistan, but China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa will only have added their voices to the growing chorus of concern because of genuine considerations of their own".

Officials said that the visit was part of efforts to develop support for Pakistan after US President Donald Trump criticised Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists.

Describing Asif's visit as an "important event" between the two sides which will further the cooperation consensus reached between the two country's leaders, he said it will deepen political cooperation centered on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and promote coordination and communication on worldwide and regional affairs.

He said that following operation "Zarb-e-Azb", there are no safe havens for terrorists inside Pakistan, while their remnants are being wiped out through intelligence-based operations (IBOs) under the military campaign "Raddul Fasaad".

Pakistan reports indicate that Asif will soon visit Moscow to discuss the United States strategy.

Asif further said that Pakistan needs to ask itself if it had fully implemented the National Action Plan on terrorism that was framed after the terrorist attack on a Peshawar school in 2014.

He said most of the terrorists being killed in Afghanistan belonged to the Haqqani network, while attacks in Pakistan also emanated from that country.

"It is beyond my understanding how China agreed to this. Still, it has set a precedent that should give Pakistan cause for worry, at the very least".

Asif tacitly referred to action by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force that forced Pakistan to place LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed under house arrest.

The spokesperson said the deep and practical cooperation centered on the CPEC, and promoted coordination and communication on global and regional affairs.

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