Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has said “some” members of the terrorist Haqqani network are present in the country, but that Islamabad is not allowing any group to conduct terrorist activities in Afghanistan, VOA reported.
Chaudhry made the statement in an interview with the state-run Pakistani television PTV broadcast Sunday.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and U.S officials have said Haqqani operates out of sanctuaries in Pakistan, a charge Islamabad rejects.
“The Haqqani Network is actually part of the Taliban. Most of their people are in Afghanistan, most of them, and some of them are present here (in Pakistan),” said Chaudhry.
VOA reported that Chaudhry said the Pakistani leadership is sticking to its pledges of not allowing any individual or group to use Pakistan’s soil for terrorist activities.
“We have also explicitly given the same message to the Taliban and Haqqanis that you must not indulge in any terrorist activity or violence in Afghanistan,” he said.
“And if you can’t mend your ways and live peacefully like millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, then you better leave the country because Pakistani soil cannot welcome you and the space would be squeezed on you.”
Chaudhry said Pakistan is putting “incremental pressure” on Taliban and Haqqanis to persuade them to reengage in peace talks with Afghan authorities.
But Islamabad has made it clear to the Afghan leadership that it would not use military force against the insurgents because they would then turn their guns on Pakistanis, bringing Afghanistan’s war to Pakistan, he said, and reemphasized the need for finding a political solution to the Afghan conflict, VOA reported.
The Pakistani official reiterated Islamabad is ready to facilitate peace talks between Afghan warring sides provided Kabul accepts the offer.