US tells Pakistan: Do more to wipe out terrorism

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, left, with US Vice President Mike Pence in New York. (Photo courtesy the Prime Minister's Office)
Updated 19 March 2018
0

US tells Pakistan: Do more to wipe out terrorism

ISLAMABAD: US Vice President Mike Pence wants Pakistan to work more closely with Washington to defeat terrorism on its soil.
A White House statement said Pence reiterated President Donald Trump’s “request that the Government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country.”
But the statement did not share any details about the nature of talks and meetings.
PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is on a private visit to the US, met Pence on Saturday. But his office has not shared anything, so far, with the media about his visit or the meeting.
On Thursday Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said that active negotiations are in progress between Pakistan and the US. “It is a difficult balancing act and both sides have conveyed their reservations and differences on the new US strategy to each other.”We are actively seeking to find common ground, as is manifested in continued engagement at all levels between Pakistan and the US.”
Former Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir believes that this particular White House statement reflects a partial view.
“Pakistan and US interests converge on both peace in Afghanistan and countering terror. Both sides need to talk more and cooperate more. There have been positive developments in this regard,” he told Arab News.
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, professor of politics and international relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, believes this reflects the significance of Pakistan’s role in the US strategy for culmination of the war in Afghanistan. “Mike Pence asked Prime Minister Abbasi to do more. Doing more means more cooperation.”
Qamar Cheema, a political analyst, told Arab News that the mistrust between Pakistan and the US is over the alleged presence of the Haqqani Network.
“The US has been asking Pakistan to do more on the Haqqani Network, whereas it also accepts that Pakistan has taken certain measures which are appreciable. If the trust deficit between both countries will be bridged, that will be a win-win situation for both,” Cheema said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua visited Washington on March 7-8, where she met senior US officials including US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan at the State Department and Deputy National Security Adviser Dr. Nadia Schadlow, at the White House.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Janjua had in-depth discussions with South Asia experts at the US Institute of Peace.
“She reaffirmed Pakistan’s constructive approach to work together with the US for regional peace and stability,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement after Janjua’s visit.
The US and Afghanistan have been asking Pakistan to move against the Haqqani Network, which the US says operates from Pakistan. However, Islamabad maintains that Pakistani forces have eliminated the infrastructure of militants and acted indiscriminately against all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network.


Migrants aiming for Croatia blocked from border in Bosnia

Updated 23 October 2018
0

Migrants aiming for Croatia blocked from border in Bosnia

  • The group wanted to enter Croatia, a European Union member, and continue west on to other EU countries
  • Bosnian police blocked the migrants from reaching the border and buses arrived later to take them back to an asylum center

IZACIC, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Several dozen migrants sought to be allowed to cross from Bosnia into Croatia Tuesday after spending the night in the open near the border between the two countries.
The group wanted to enter Croatia, a European Union member, and continue west on to other EU countries. Bosnian police blocked the migrants from reaching the border and buses arrived later to take them back to an asylum center.
Earlier, children could be heard shouting “Croatia, Croatia.”
“Our situation is very bad, so we came here because of our situation and maybe they have to understand what we are going through,” Ezent Laue, who said he was from Syria, pleaded.
Croatian police said in a statement they would not allow illegal entry to the country. They warned of false rumors being spread that Croatia’s borders would be opened to allow people to enter freely.
The migrants walked some 15 kilometers (9 miles) Monday from the asylum center to draw attention to borders remaining closed to people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa or Asia.
Bosnian police first stopped the group Monday evening about one kilometer (about a half-mile) from the border crossing. The migrants set up small tents, put out blankets and slept rough by the road as cars and trucks passed by.
Parents wrapped children in warm clothes and blankets to protect them from the autumn chill. Sympathetic locals offered food, beverages and blankets.
Another group of migrants set off Tuesday morning toward a separate border crossing with Croatia.
Several thousand migrants are staying in war-ravaged Bosnia unable to continue their westward journey. Migrants have turned to Bosnia to avoid more heavily guarded routes in the Balkans.
Hundreds of thousands passed through the region before countries stepped up border controls in 2016.