ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Jalil Abbas Jilani, has reiterated that the North Waziristan operation against terrorists was going to be comprehensive and nondiscriminatory, and no terrorist group including the notorious Haqqani Network was being given any safe exit as reported in the media.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum at Colorado on Friday, he stated that a timeline leading up to the completion of the operation was not predictable at the moment.
Talking about the details of the operation, the ambassador said, “While hammer of the Pakistani forces against all militants was working in full swing, the corresponding anvil from the Afghan side would be helpful to decisively crush the terrorists once and for all.” He hoped that the Afghan National Security Forces would be able to assume the security control of the country after the transition of the international forces from Afghanistan.
Afghan Ambassador Eklil Hakimi, who was part of the panel, said that his government was coordinating with Pakistan to look at the border issues and to address the Pakistani concerns.
While the US administration has so far appreciated the North Waziristan operation being carried out by the Pakistan army, the media reports suggested that the Haqqani Network members had been warned and given safe exit. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has refuted these assertions.
He was in town last week meeting with various US lawmakers and convincing them that Pakistan aims to root out all terrorist groups including the Haqqani Network.
The state department spokesperson, Marie Harf, called it a challenge and repeated on Thursday that the US has “long been very focused on the Haqqani Network, on their intent to cause instability in Afghanistan, to attack and kill US citizens and military service members particularly.”
She emphasised that the top priority for the administration has been to degrade the capability of the Haqqani Network to carry out attacks, and to prevent it from raising money and moving people around.