Washington, Jan 16: The US has welcomed news reports that Pakistan is contemplating banning several terrorist organisations including the Haqqani network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), calling it an important step towards eliminating terrorist activities in that country.
"We welcome the reports that the Government of Pakistan plans to outlaw the Haqqani Network, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and I think about ten other organisations linked to violent extremism," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, told reporters.
"If they go forward with this it is an important step, certainly, towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan," she said adding that Secretary of state John Kerry had a very good visit to Pakistan where he talked to the Pakistani Government, as we always do, about counter- terrorism, how they can work together more closely.
According to the reports, Pakistan plans to ban 10 terror outfits, including 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat- ud-Dawa (JuD) and the dreaded Afghan-based Haqqani Network, a move seen by experts as a "paradigm shift" in the country's security policy in the wake of Peshawar school massacre.
"Certainly, this would be an important step going forward. We certainly believe that if this goes forward, that it would be an important step," Harf said.
US: This would be an important step going forward
"We have a long history of close cooperation with Pakistan on counter-terrorism efforts. We've been very clear with the Pakistani government that they need to crack down and go after all terrorist groups that threaten them, threaten their people their people are, unfortunately, the victims of more terrorist attacks than, people probably anywhere else," she said.
"It is an ongoing conversation, certainly, but this would be a very important step," she added. Kerry, she said, had a successful visit to Pakistan. "He had a number of conversations, not just about counter-terrorism issues although that was a huge focus, and obviously wanted to personally express his condolences over the horrific attack in Peshawar but also about the economic issues and other issues," she said.
"It's a broad relationship that goes beyond security. I think that was a really key part of what he wanted to focus on when he was there. The banning of these terrorist groups is obviously for the government of Pakistan to decide on, but it was a very good visit," State Department spokesperson said.