This comes after the BRICS nations – in a joint declaration – named Pakistan-based terrorist groups as a concern for regional security and called for action against them.
The United States today said Pakistan must “change its approach” towards terrorist groups operating from its soil and take decisive action against them.
“As the administration has said, Pakistan must change its approach,” a State Department spokesperson told the news agency PTI in response to a question on the BRICS statement that named Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed among the terror groups that create problems in the region.
“We look to the Pakistan government to take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region,” the spokesperson said.
For the first time, the BRICS Summit in their joint declaration named Pakistan-based terrorist groups as a concern for regional security and called for action against them.
The Xiamen declaration was significant, given that China previously repeatedly stonewalled any reference to Pakistan or terrorist groups based there.
PAKISTAN’S RESPONSE TO BRICS DECLARATION
Pakistan’s defence minister, Khurram Dastagir Khan, rejected the BRICS statement.
These organisations, they have some of their remnants in Pakistan, which we’re cleaning,” Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan told the Geo TV channel, without specifying which groups he was referring to.
“But Pakistan, we reject this thing categorically, no terrorist organisation has any complete safe havens,” he added.
But Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif later appeared to admit that outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were operating from Pakistani soil.
“Friends (China) should not be tested (every time), particularly in the changed scenario. Instead, we should impose some restrictions on the activities of the elements like LeT and JeM, so that we can show the global community that we have put our house in order,” Asif said.
Pakistani media houses quoted him as saying this in an interview.
Asif also tried to dilute China’s role in the BRICS declaration, saying that it shouldn’t be considered as China’s official stance as other countries.