WASHINGTON: The United States emphasised on Wednesday that while Pakistan was headed in the right direction, ‘a lot more needs to be done’ with regard to wiping out terrorism from South Asia. Addressing a weekly press briefing, Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the US State Department, said, “We’ve certainly seen Pakistan take some positive steps in the right direction, but a lot more needs to be done, in terms of Pakistan cracking down not just on the Taliban, but the Haqqani Network and other terror networks as well.”
Nauert explained that Pakistan needs to ‘do more’ in order to take on and eliminate the banned terrorist outfits, while, alongside, playing a more active role in the Afghan peace process.
The spokesperson highlighted Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s last week meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence wherein the two leaders held talks on US-Pakistan relations as well as the ongoing regional situation. Pence and Abbasi had talked about the overall South Asia strategy, the administration’s South Asia strategy, “and that’s one of the things that the Vice President addressed with him,” she said. “He said the Government of Pakistan has to do more to address the continued presence of terrorism in Pakistan.” “There’s a lot more that they can do, but they can also play a critical role in the – with the Taliban, in getting the Taliban to come to the table in Pakistan,” she said. “One of the things that the president has called for in his South Asia strategy is for Pakistan to take on greater responsibility for cracking down on terror groups,” Nauert added.