Voicing concern that Pakistan is not doing enough against the Afghan-Taliban, including the Haqqani network, two top US Senators have warned Islamabad that any future terror attack against America or Europe that can be traced back to that country would invite "very serious" consequences.
Fresh from their visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Democratic Senators Carl Levin and Jack Reed demanded that the Haqqani network as also the Pakistani Taliban should be declared as foreign terrorists.
"These fighting elements continue to cross the border and flip damage upon Afghani forces and American forces and the government of Pakistan has to do a much more effective job of controlling these groups within their own country," Senator Reed said. "They also have to recognise that any attack in the United States or in Europe that can be traced back to the Pakistani tribal areas or elsewhere would invite very serious consequences," he said.
The two Senators' remarks come months after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a similar statement, warning Pakistan of consequences if any terrorist attack on the US is traced back to that country.
"There is no excuse for those groups not to be on the foreign terrorist list. It's long overdue, and both the Taliban and the Haqqani network inside of Pakistan should be added to that list to reflect the important, the seriousness that we give to their presence in Pakistan, unmolested by the Pakistanis, even though their locations are known, the headquarters are known to the Pakistan government," Levin said.
"There have been attacks against certain targets in Pakistan, which are threatening to the United States and to the Pakistanis. There have been drone attacks. I don't see reasons why those headquarters should not be on the list of potential targets," Levin said when asked about attacking those targets inside Pakistan.
Noting that these terrorist groups use Pakistan as a safe haven and as staging area for attacks into Afghanistan, Levin said: "I, too, give the Pakistan government and the Afghan army some credit for what they did in the Swat valley and in other places in taking on some terrorist individuals and groups."
"What they haven't done is take on the two groups that attack into Afghanistan, the groups they have taken on are the groups and individuals that attacked Pakistani targets and well they should."
At the same time, Levin said: "They also say that they recognise that there is a threat to them when their country is used as a launching platform for terrorist attacks against others, but they have not acted on that when it comes to the Haqqani network, which is in North Waziristan, headquarters of which is very well known and they have (also) not done that ... to the so-called Quetta Shura, which is where the Afghan Taliban have their headquarters in Pakistan."
"What continues to be a source of instability in Afghanistan and potential great difficulty is their ambivalence about certain cross-border terrorist groups, obviously, the Afghani Taliban who operate from Quetta and from the border regions of Pakistan and also the Haqqani network, which is located towards the east below Khost and Paktika provinces in Afghanistan."