Imran Khan: Won't let armed groups function in Pakistan

by Garry Watts March 10, 2019, 0:48
Imran Khan: Won't let armed groups function in Pakistan

"The United States' Congress stands ready to support Pakistan should Prime Minister (Imran) Khan begin cracking down on terrorist groups in earnest".

Pakistan is facing pressure from global powers to act against groups carrying out attacks in India, including Jaish-e-Mohamed (JeM), which claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police.

Amid claims and counter-claims on the damage caused to the Jaise-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan, some television channels on Wednesday reported that Indian Air Force (IAF) has shared the proof of accuracy of its strike with the government.

The article stated that Islamabad and New Delhi were "long among the world's most antagonistic neighbours" and that it was fortunate they found "the good sense to de-escalate".

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the country's main opposition, has taken a strong stance against the Imran Khan government for not raising the issue of Indian aggression at worldwide forums like the United Nations, the Common Wealth and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). They must see who the perpetrator was and how an organisation in Pakistan took it upon itself, in its various publications, to take credit for what, in terms of the language associated with militant incidents, was a "lone wolf" operation by a Kashmiri freedom fighter/militant/terrorist.

The escalating tension in the wake of the bombing led to a major confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals, with both countries carrying out aerial bombing missions and even engaging in a brief dogfight that prompted fears of a war.

"This government will not allow Pakistan's land to be used for any kind of outside terrorism", Khan said while addressing a rally in southern Pakistan.

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Pakistan has never seriously cracked down on militant groups that attack India.

Pakistan has taken some initial steps, like detaining 44 suspected militants, including the brother of JeM's leader Masood Azhar.

"They (the U.S. and Saudi Arabia) have conveyed this message to both the countries (Pakistan and India)".

Later, during a joint parliament session, PM Khan announced Pakistan will release the captured Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, "as a peace gesture" to India.

But Pakistan has rarely followed through on such promises, the paper said.

"I also call on China to play a constructive role in India and Pakistan relations".

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