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US NSA Susan Rice pushed Pak for 'aggressive approach' against safe havens

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice pushed top Pakistani leadership to adopt "an aggressive approach" against terrorist safe havens inside the country during her recent visit to Islamabad, a top has official said.



Washington: US National Security Advisor Susan Rice pushed top Pakistani leadership to adopt "an aggressive approach" against terrorist safe havens inside the country during her recent visit to Islamabad, a top has official said.

According to the administration official, Rice warned the leadership that continuation of their current policy would have an adverse impact on the relationship with both India and Afghanistan.

"Rice noted that terrorist and other militant acts continue to emanate from Pakistani soil and that has developed into a key source of regional friction between Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan and India," the official told PTI.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said the talks were frank.

Terrorism emanating from the Pakistani soil would be the key issue of discussion when Sharif travels to Washington to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on October 22, the official said.

"So addressing this challenge of safe havens that some militant groups have on Pakistani soil will be an imperative for Pakistan's relations with its neighbors and with the US. As you know, some of these actors have made it a point of targeting the US and coalition forces in Afghanistan," the official said.

"So it is a primary concern to us and especially with the uptick of the violence in Kabul, this is certainly a priority for us to see that Pakistan takes a very aggressive approach in dealing with the Haqqani network and other actors," the official said.

"Ambassador Rice was clear that Pakistan needs to do more to confront the Haqqanis and other similar groups. These are groups that have not only taken Afghan lives, also those of coalition forces including Americans, something we deeply care about and came up in discussion," the official said.

Relationship between India and Pakistan was "certainly an issue of discussion" but "it was not immediate emphasis for the meeting," the official said.

"But it was certainly not an emergency meeting called to discuss this (India Pak tension) primarily. It was a discussion of the recent rise in tensions and in ways Pakistan could work constructively to ease those tensions, especially now after the cancellation of meetings between the two sides," the official said.

The goal of the Obama Administration is to ensure resumption of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbors and "peaceful resolution" to the rising tensions.

"Our overarching goal is to see a reduction in tension especially in the aftermath of some border skirmishes that has tragically taken the lives on both sides. That's where we have been working towards," the official said.

During her trip, Rice met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz. 

From Zee News

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