Can act against Haqqani if U.S. gives evidence: Asif
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Pakistan is ready for a joint operation with the U.S. to destroy the Haqqani Network if it provides evidence about the presence of safe havens of the dreaded terror outfit in the country, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said.
His remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump, in August, had accused Pakistan of harbouring “agents of chaos and terror” and the “very enemy U.S. forces have fighting in Afghanistan” for the past 17 years.
Mr. Asif, who recently visited Washington and met senior Trump administration officials, told Express News, “We have offered American authorities to visit Pakistan with evidence of Haqqani network’s safe havens in the country.
“If they find any activity [of Haqqanis] in the targeted areas, our troops, along with the U.S., would destroy them once and for all.”
The Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan. The group is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people.
Pakistan’s offer is a major concession to Washington, as so far it has resisted U.S. boots on its soil, and it comes ahead of the expected visits of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis to Islamabad in the coming weeks.
Pakistan has asked the members of the Quadrilateral Cooperation Group (QCG) on Afghanistan to meet next week in Oman and resume talks to bring peace in the war-torn country. Afghanistan, the U.S., China and Pakistan are members of the Group, which first met in January 2016.
Pakistan has asked the group members to meet in Muscat, on October 16 as part of its effort to restart the quadrilateral peace process for ending the Afghan war.