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Pak 'must do more' against Taliban, terror groups

Pak 'must do more' against Taliban, terror groups

"The Vice President stated that USA efforts to eliminate terrorist groups who threaten US security and the stability of the region will continue and noted that Pakistan could and should work closer with the USA", the White House said.

Prime Minister Abbasi arrived in Washington on Wednesday to be with his elder sister - not Senator Sadia Abbasi - who underwent a disc-surgery at a Washington hospital.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had an unscheduled meeting with US Vice President Michael Pence here on Friday and their talks focused on finding a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, official sources told Dawn.

According to media reports, the Pakistan Prime Minister's visit comes just days after Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua visited Washington for a series of what is being described by observers, experts and diplomats as fence-mending discussions with the US leadership.

The White House in a statement said, "Vice President Pence reiterated that President Trump's request that the Pakistan government must do more to eradicate the continued presence of Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terror groups opearting on their soil".

Earlier, Pakistan embassy in Washington hosted a luncheon in honour of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The meeting lasted for 40 minutes. United States officials noted that Pakistan had been encouraging the Taliban to participate in the reconciliation process, as Washington desires.




According to sources, the Pakistani premier met U.S. officials at a local hotel where diplomats from the Pakistani embassy were also present.

While discussing bilateral relations, the two lawmakers conveyed their concern about blasphemy cases against Christians in Pakistan, the sources added.

The United States in particular is demanding that Pakistan move against Taliban leaders who support a continuation of the war in Afghanistan and oppose participating in peace talks with Kabul, the official said. Days after his tweet, the U.S. suspended over United States dollars 1.15 billion in security aid and the delivery of military equipment to Pakistan for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups.

The official, requesting not to be named, said that President Trump has "made it clear that he is not satisfied with the action taken by Pakistan".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last month proposed peace talks with the Taliban , which could eventually be recognised as a political party if it observes a ceasefire and officially recognises the Afghan government and constitution.

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