Pentagon says Pakistan has opportunity to do more to combat terrorism

Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White and Joint Staff director Marine Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie brief reporters at the Pentagon in Feb 2018. Photo: Department of Defense

With Pakistan encountering trouble with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) once again, the United States has asserted that Islamabad has the “opportunity to do more.”

“Well, with respect to Pakistan we believe that Pakistan can do more to combat terrorism,” Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W White said at a weekend news briefing in Washington.

Responding to a question regarding the Pentagon and secretary’s views on Pakistan’s or Afghanistan’s future in light of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and China recently voting against the US resolution as far as Pakistan is supporting terrorism, White said this is “an inflection point.”

“This is an inflection point and this is an opportunity and Pakistan has an opportunity to do more,” she said.

“They’ve been victims of terrorism. So, we’ll look forward to continuing to work with them to see where there are opportunities,” the Pentagon chief spokesperson added.

Further, when asked about Pentagon’s view on Pakistan welcoming Afghan government’s latest offer for peace talks with Taliban, White said, “Our goal is to help the Afghan Security Forces become capable enough to ensure that the violence ends. 

The Taliban has to abandon terror, it has to abandon violence, and it has to support the Afghan constitution. Then they have to come to the table. And that is, ultimately, for the people of Afghanistan to come to an ultimate political resolution.”

Last week, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said that the country would be placed on the grey list of the FATF in June. Member states of the FATF were persuaded by Washington to place Pakistan back on the “grey list” of nations with inadequate terrorist financing or money laundering controls. Pakistan was on the list for three years, until 2015.

Further, on February 26, US Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for South and Central Asia Lisa Curtis held a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during an emergency visit to the country. 

The meeting was held at the Foreign Office. 

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