US Tells Pakistan to Take ‘Irreversible Action’ Against Terrorists

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Washington: The US has asked Pakistan to take sustained and irreversible actions against terrorist groups operating from its territory, according to a top State Department official. The State Department statement comes even as Pakistan faces international pressure following the Pulwama terror attack, the responsibility for which was taken by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, and India’s air strikes against the outfit’s terrorist camp in Balakot as a pre-emptive measure. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters at his biweekly news conference on Thursday, “The United States notes these steps (taken by Pakistan) and we continue to urge Pakistan to take sustained, irreversible actions against terrorist groups that will prevent future attacks and promote regional stability. We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council obligations to deny terrorists safe haven and block their entry to funds.” While stopping short of giving a direct answer on the US move to designate JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, but he did say that the US and its allies in the UN Security Council want to update the UN list of terrorist organisations and leaders. “Our views on Masood Azhar and Jaish-e-Mohammed are well-known. JeM is a United Nations-designated terrorist group that has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability. Masood Azhar is the founder and leader of JeM,” he said. Meanwhile, in a related development, Pakistan has turned down the visa request of a UN team which wanted to interview Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on his application for removing his name from the UNSC sanctions list. Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack in which 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed 166 people. He was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017. A representative from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN informed them that no visa would be issued for their travel to Pakistan, UN sources said.