US consistently calls on Pakistan to take steps to disband all terrorist groups: Official

Washington: The US has been consistently calling on Pakistan to step up efforts to permanently disband all terrorist groups like the LeT, JuD and their various front organisations, a top state department official has said.

Addressing the media on Monday, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said the US will raise the issue regularly with Pakistani officials and will continue to work together with it to counter mutual terrorist threats.

“We have also been consistent on the importance of Pakistan continuing to take steps to permanently disband all terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and their various front organisations,” he said.

“We will raise the issue regularly with Pakistani officials, and will continue to work together to counter mutual terrorist threats, as we discussed during our March 2023 CT dialogue,” he said.

Miller was responding to a question on the India-US joint statement issued during the state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.

In the joint statement, both US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Modi reiterated the call for concerted action against all UN-listed terrorist groups including al-Qaeda, ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizb-ul-Mujhahideen.

The two leaders strongly condemned cross-border terrorism, and the use of terrorist proxies and “called on Pakistan to take immediate action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for launching terrorist attacks.”

Miller declined to comment on India’s response to former US president Barack Obama’s statement about minority rights in India.

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Obama reportedly said if India does not protect the rights of “ethnic minorities”, there is a strong possibility at some point that the country starts pulling apart.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior ministers have slammed Obama for his statement, saying, “He (Obama) should also think about how many Muslim countries he has attacked (as US president)”.

Singh’s comments came a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit out at Obama, saying his remarks were surprising as six Muslim-majority countries had faced US “bombing” during Obama’s tenure.

In response to another question, Miller said, “We regularly raise concerns about human rights in our conversations with Indian officials. And you saw President Biden speak to this himself in the joint press conference that he held with Prime Minister Modi.”