US, India accuse Pakistan of giving safe havens to terrorists
India has told the UN Security Council (UNSC) that support for terror groups, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) "from outside Afghanistan" must stop. The statement appears to refer to Pakistan's sponsorship of these terror groups. It comes after US Vice-President Mike Pence said President Donald Trump has put Pakistan on notice for providing safe havens to terrorists. Pakistan has denied all allegations.
"The support for terrorist organizations like the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Daesh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e- Mohammed from outside Afghanistan, must be forced to stop," said Deputy Permanent Representative of India to UN, Tanmaya Lal. "All safe havens and sanctuaries available to such groups outside Afghan borders must end." The groups have found sanctuary in Pakistan.
"For too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organizations, but those days are over," Pence told US troops at Afghanistan's Bagram airbase. "President Trump has put Pakistan on notice," he added. Pence joins Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to be the latest US official to slam Pakistan over its terrorism record.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, rejected the allegations made by the US and India in a speech to the UNSC. Lodhi said the only terrorist safe havens are not in Pakistan but in 40% of the Afghan territory not under the Afghan government's control. She said Pakistan favors a political, not military settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.