Pakistan must change approach towards terror groups

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif spoke with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani over the telephone today.

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

He also underlined Pakistan's support for Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process for bringing lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Both sides agreed to remain engaged for building closer cooperation between the two countries. They also agreed to meet on the sidelines of UNGA in NY, later this month.

President Donald Trump unveiled the United States strategy on August 21 that focuses on winning the Afghan war through troops surge.

Pakistan has denied allegations it harbours these groups. Another key aspect of the strategy is to put pressure on Pakistan to break its alleged nexus with the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. The government also chose to prepare a comprehensive response to the Trump's strategy, including the foreign minister's visit to friendly countries to seek their support. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will address the final session.

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

"The BRICS summit's decision that Laskar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are a threat to the region will certainly have an impact on Pakistan's diplomatic efforts", Rasul Baksh Raees, a political analyst in Pakistan, told VOA.

Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa condemned "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" at the 9th BRICS Summit in China on Monday.

Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif has acknowledged the need to restrict the activities of terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed so that the country can tell the world community that it has put its "house in order".

Though the interior ministry had published an advertisement that directed people not to donate the hides of animals sacrificed during Eid-ul-Azha to banned organisations such as LeT, this directive was violated at a few places, Asif said.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday in Islamabad, Defense Minister Khan again rejected that there are any terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan.

The terrorists were making safe havens in Afghanistan due to which Pakistan was facing problems, he added.

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