US rules out sanctions against Pakistan

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Washington ‘encouraged’ by Pak action against terrorists

Washington—The United States on Wednesday ruled out sanctions against Pakistan saying that the country’s recent counter-terrorism operations were ‘encouraging’.
On being asked if the US would consider placing sanctions on Pakistan for not taking enough action against terrorist networks, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said, “I don’t think we’re even at that point…We continue to have conversations with the highest level of the Government of Pakistan. And our basic point in all of these conversations is that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbors, and eliminate all safe havens.”
Toner was responding to a question regarding a recent statement by former US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad calling for the US to seriously consider the option of imposing sanctions against Pakistan. “We have been encouraged by some of the steps they’ve taken, some of their recent counter-terrorism operations along the border of Afghanistan. And we’re going to continue to work with them to increase those efforts and apply more pressure on these groups. But the suggestion of any kind of sanctions, we’re not there,” he said. Toner further added that Pakistan authorities continue to assure their intentions to take stronger steps against terrorists.
Reiterating that the US had long encouraged and pushed Pakistan to go after all terrorist groups, including those responsible for the Mumbai attacks, Toner said, “We want to see accountability and justice in the case of the Mumbai attacks.—APP

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