Post Quetta Attack: United States doubles pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorism on its soil
Washington, Oct 26: Following the deadly terror attack in Quetta killing 61 people, the United States expressed its solidarity with Islamabad, but also re-iterated its warning to Pakistan to act on terrorism on its soil adding that it could directly contribute to regional stability by doing so.
Offering his condolences to the kin of the victims of the attack on the police training college in Quetta, U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a press conference here that the attack was a cowardly, lethal and a horrific one.
“And remember that many of the victims were police cadets, young people who were training and learning to defend their fellow citizens. So obviously this is a cowardly, lethal, horrific attack. And sadly, it’s not the first time that the people of Pakistan have fallen victim to terrorism. Many soldiers have died, many civilians have died. This isn’t some theoretical exercise for the Pakistani people; it’s right there. Not in their backyard, in their front yard,” Kirby said.
Stressing that the U.S. remains committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to end the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism and to promote peace and stability, Kirby added that the U.S. will continue to work with regional countries, regional partners, to deal with terrorism because it is a common threat to everybody.
“And it requires common, comprehensive, collaborative solutions. And that’s what we’re going to continue to seek.We believe that Pakistan can directly contribute to regional stability by acting against militants on Pakistani soil who seek to attack its neighbours,” the spokesperson said.
For the past two weeks the United States has been putting pressure on Pakistan to take action against terrorists and terror organisations using its soil as a safe haven.
Following which, Pakistani authorities froze bank accounts with more than Rs 400 million belonging to some 5,100 terror suspects, including Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.
Among those whose accounts were frozen by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are 1,200 suspects included in “category A” of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, which covers terrorists who pose an exceptional or high risk.
Official documents showed the authorities had blocked the bank accounts of 3,078 suspects from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, 1,443 from Punjab, 226 from Sindh, 193 from Balochistan, 106 from Gilgit-Baltistan, 27 from the Islamabad Capital Territory and 26 from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Prominent suspects whose accounts were frozen include Maulana Abdul Aziz of Islamabad’s radical Lal Masjid, Ahmed Ludhianvi of the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Matiur Rehman of al-Qaeda Pakistan, Qari Ehsan of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.