'Haqqanis continue to enjoy safe heavens in Pak'
Islamabad: Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby has said that the Haqqani network, which poses a great threat to NATO forces in Afghanistan, continues to enjoy its ‘safe heavens’ inside Pakistan.
During an interview, Kirby stressed that the Haqqani network remains a very lethal threat to the US and the coalition forces, as well as to the Afghan security forces.
“ISAF continues to put pressure on the Haqqani network inside Afghanistan,” The Express Tribune quoted Kirby, as saying.
“We believe that Pakistani officials recognise our concerns about the safe havens this network continues to enjoy inside Pakistan,” he added.
Kirby was further questioned what the US forces along the border were doing to nullify the threat of militants on the Afghan side, and how they expected the Pakistani military to combat the threat from their end.
“I think it is fair to say that both sides face a common threat from extremist networks,” he responded.
“The coalition continues to increase pressure on the Taliban and other extremists inside Afghanistan, and we recognise that the Pakistani military has taken casualties in their fight against extremists as well,” he added.
Kirby also quashed concerns over threat to Pakistani interests after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014, saying that partnerships would not end.
“We’ve long said that even after 2014, the United States will remain committed to the future of Afghanistan and to the region. Our relationships with Afghanistan and Pakistan will endure,” he said.