NEW YORK - The US and Pakistani officials got into a heated discussion on Friday regarding the circumstances surrounding the fight against terrorism and the sanctuaries of the Afghan militants inside the Pakistani territory.
Speaking at the UN Security Council debate on Afghanistan, the US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said the United States can’t work with Pakistan if it continues to give sanctuary to terrorist organizations and need to stop this and join efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict.
However, Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Maleeha Lodi countered that Afghanistan and its partners, especially the U.S., need to address “challenges inside Afghanistan rather than shift the onus for ending the conflict onto others.”
She also added that “Those who imagine sanctuaries outside need a reality check.”
This comes as the Afghan and US officials have long been insisting that the Afghan militants, particularly the notorious Haqqani terrorist network still have safe havens and freedom of action in Pakistan from where they plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.
A senior US State Department official said earlier this month that “We believe that there is significant evidence that leadership of the Haqqani Network resides inside Pakistan and is able to plan and execute from Pakistan attacks inside Afghanistan.
So the disagreement is much more about those facts than it is on our overarching goals in the strategy.
And we need them to address these sanctuaries in order for us to be able to be enabled to succeed in Afghanistan.”