US Lauds Pakistan For Combating Terrorism Ahead Of FATF Meet; Says Prosecute Hafiz Saeed

The US has welcomed Pakistan’s efforts to curb militancy but cautioned Islamabad that it must do more to deter militants from operating within its borders. The statement from Alice Wells, the acting assistant secretary of the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Wells said Washington welcomes Pakistan’s recent arrest of four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leaders and wants them and LeT leader Hafiz Saeed to face prosecution for their “vicious attacks”.

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Wells added that Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to pursue action against all militant groups and that “Pakistan, for its own future, must prevent militant groups from operating on its soil.”

The reminder from Washington comes on the heels of Thursday’s arrest of four aides of Hafiz Saeed on terrorism financing charges. Saeed, arrested on the same charges, has been on judicial remand since July, a move previously welcomed by US President Donald Trump who wants Pakistan to do more to crack down on militancy.

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The recent arrests come ahead of a meeting next week of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog, which will review progress made by Pakistan in controlling terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan has been placed in the grey list by the FATF for terror financing and money laundering.

(With additional input from Reuters)