Pak a victim of terror, needs to eliminate sanctuaries: Kerry

Pak a victim of terror, needs to eliminate sanctuaries: Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry today said it is clear that Pakistan has to do more for eliminating sanctuaries of terror on its soil and push harder against indigenous groups engaged in terrorist activities. However, he conceded that Pakistan itself has also been a victim of terrorism and lost over 50,000 people.

In what is seen as a clever balancing act, while pitching for strong action by Pakistan against terror outfits, Kerry said when Islamabad takes action there is usually "pretty intense pushback and blowback which makes it harder". Addressing a session at IIT-Delhi here, he said terror groups like Daesh, Al Qaeda, LeT and JeM cannot be fought by a single nation.

"We are working on it. I have been working on this issue very hard. I have had many engagements with (Pakistan Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif. We have been talking on the sanctuaries in the western part of the country, how to deal more effectively with the Haqqani network and the LeT.

"It is clear that Pakistan has work to do in order to push harder against its indigenous groups that are engaged in terrorist activities. They must work with us to help clear sanctuary of bad actors who are affecting not only India- Pakistan relationship but also our ability to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan," Kerry said.

Without elaborating, Kerry said said he believes that in the last few months, progress has been made and the Pakistanis are moving at a greater pace. The US Secretary said that "in fairness" Pakistan has suffered greatly from terrorism. "More than 50,000 people have been killed... people define a great religion Islam in a way that doesn't reflect that religion. They steal it, hijack it. When Pakistan do take action there's usually pretty intense pushback and blowback which makes (tackling terror) it harder," he said.

The Secretary of State said leading nations can no longer ignore threats beyond its borders. Kerry appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending an invitation to Sharif, who came for his oath-taking ceremony. "There have been communication (between India and Pak). That's the way to begin the process," he said.

Praising his host country, Kerry said a rising India will play a critical role in resolving challenges posed by poverty and terrorism. Underlining the importance of ties with India, he said the US is India's biggest trade market now.
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