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Further Pressures Urged On Terrorism Supporting Countries

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Saturday February 17, 2018

Kabul (BNA) The overall situation in Afghanistan will deteriorate modestly this year, a top American spy master told lawmakers on Tuesday adding that Pakistan-supported terrorist groups would continue to attacks inside Afghanistan from its safe havens across the border.
“Militant groups supported by Islamabad will continue to take advantage of their safe havens in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests,” Dan Coats, Director National Intelligence said in his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Pakistan, he said, will continue to threaten US interests by deploying new nuclear weapons capabilities, maintaining its ties to militants, restricting counterterrorism cooperation, and drawing closer to China. “The overall situation in Afghanistan probably will deteriorate modestly this year in the face of persistent political instability, sustained attacks by the Taliban-led insurgency, unsteady Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) performance, and chronic financial shortfalls,” Coats said. The Afghan national security forces probably will maintain control of most major population centers with coalition force support, but the intensity and geographic scope of Taliban activities will put those centers under continued strain, he added.
Coats said extremists—most notably ISIS and al-Qa‘ida—pose continuing terrorist threats to US interests and partners worldwide, while US-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) will remain the most prevalent Sunni violent extremist threat in the United States. “ISIS and al-Qa‘ida and their respective networks will be persistent threats, as will groups not subordinate to them, such as the Haqqani Taliban Network,” Coats said. National Security Council spokesman Qader Shah said Afghan forces to continue fighting the terrorists and extremists and won’t allow them to achieve their goals. He said Afghan forces were fighting 20 different terrorists in Afghanistan.
“We want further pressures on Pakistan and those countries supporting terror in Afghanistan. During the recent trip of the Afghan delegation to Pakistan, we have suggested Pakistan to ban hospital and those institutions providing services to Taliban, Qader Shah added. According to National Security Council spokesman a stable Afghanistan depends on elimination of the terrorists’ safe havens beyond Afghan soil, adding Afghan forces were not allowing any terrorists to establish their sanctuaries in Afghanistan and to target the neighboring countries. ‘The safe sanctuaries in Pakistan should be targeted. Pakistan should take steps against them not only for Afghan people, but for the stability and peace of its own citizens,” Qader Shah added.
Meanwhile the civil society activists and political experts believe that U.S. and the international community must apply pressures on Pakistan to achieve peace in the region. “The recent CIA chief’s remarks on Pakistan’s support of terrorism is not new. Afghanistan has already submitted evidence to them. Afghans demand tangible steps by US and the international community on safe havens,” civil society activist Aziz Rafeyee said. Praising US recent stance against Pakistan, political expert Jawid Kohistani says such move would leave positive impact on situation in Afghanistan. “Pakistan should be enlisted as terrorism-sponsored country. US must put further pressures on the country so that to step up efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Kohistani added.

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