Abdul-Aziz-HaqqaniPentagon has said Pakistan should deny safe havens to the terrorist and extremist groups in its soil in a bid to help improve the security environment of the region.

The Department of Defense in its report to Congress “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” stated “Pakistan must play a role in reducing the threat from terrorist and militant groups in the region.”

The report further added that consistent mid-level military-to-military dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan on specific issues, such as the shared threat from Islamic Sstate – Khurasan, and occasional discussions at higher levels of the military and government early in the reporting period were encouraging.

“However, sustained Pakistani efforts to pressure the Haqqani Network and the Taliban and to disrupt active threat
streams are necessary to help decrease violence in the region, to reduce the threat posed by these groups, and to achieve lasting progress on counterterrorism issues,” the report said.

It also added that The United States continues to support the re-invigorated efforts of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, which includes the Afghan, Pakistani, and Chinese governments, to set conditions for an eventual Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process with the Taliban and other militant groups.

However, it said the prospects for a successful dialogue this reporting period were hampered and complicated by the Taliban’s April 19, 2016, HPA in Kabul, the Afghan government’s subsequent response imploring Pakistan to take more direct action against extremist groups seeking safe haven in Pakistan, and the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mansour.

“The United States continues to be clear with Pakistan about steps it should take to improve the security environment and deny safe haven to terrorist and extremist groups. These conversations continue to affect not only U.S. dialogue with Pakistan on security and stability in Afghanistan but also during discussion of other issues in the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship such as security assistance,” the report added.

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for failing to take actions against the groups using the Pakistani soil to carry out attacks in Afghanistan.

The Afghan officials believe the notorious Haqqani terrorist network and the Taliban group leaderships are based in Quetta and Peshawar cities of Pakistan.

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