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Pakistan is State Sponsor of Terrorism, senior US diplomat tells House panel

Thu, Jul 14, 2016, 11:14 AM
Senior diplomat in the George W Bush administration, Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, recently pulled no punches when he told the US lawmakers that Pakistan was a State sponsor of terrorism.

Appearing before a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade and Asia and the Pacific on the theme of 'Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight against Terrorism', Khalilzad, who was the US envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, had recommended conditioning US aid to Pakistan. Significantly, he also asked to put Pakistan on the US State Department's list as a State sponsor of terrorism.

Khalilzad was of the opinion that the US needed to work with India on combating terrorism emanating from Pakistan and in taking up the issue in the United Nations Security Council.

He was also the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

He called for Washington to strip Pakistan of the NATO ally status it had accorded Islamabad several years ago.

While acknowledging that Pakistan in the aftermath of 9/11 'did provide significant help in the overthrow of the Taliban and in the capture of quite a number of Al Qaeda members,' Khalilzad said, 'Pakistan is now a State sponsor of terror.'

'There is no question that the Pakistan military and the Pakistani intelligence agency -- the Inter Services Intelligence -- support the Haqqani network, which we regard as a terrorist organisation,' he said.

'One of our former chairmen of the joint chiefs (of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen) called the Haqqani Network a virtual arm of the ISI,' he added.

'It is also clear that the Pakistani military and Pakistani intelligence provide sanctuary and support for the Taliban, which is an extremist organization, that provided sanctuary for Al Qaeda in the early period,' Khalilzad said. He added, 'even recently, the leader of Al Qaeda, (Ayman al-) Zawahari pledged allegiance to the new leader of the Taliban. So, that relationship continues.'
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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