After BRICS 2017 declaration, Pakistan minister Khawaja Asif calls for Islamabad to restrict terror outfits' activities

After international condemnation at 2017 BRICS Summit of terror groups in Islamabad posing threat to regional security, Pakistan's foreign minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday acknowledged the need to restrict the activities of terror groups so that the country can tell the world that it has put its house in order.

During an appearance at Geo News channel, he admitted that outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are operating from their soil. According to an India Today report, Asif said, "we should impose some restrictions on the activities of the elements like LeT and JeM, so that we can show the global community that we have put our house in order."

File image of Khawaja Asif. Reuters

File image of Khawaja Asif. Reuters

He also indicated that Pakistan can no longer test its friends such as China on the issue of terrorism. China had opposed India's efforts to include Pakistan-based terror groups in the declaration issued after the last BRICS Summit in Goa. However in the current dynamic scenario, he said that Islamabad can no longer test Beijing.

He attempted to dilute China's role in the BRICS declaration by saying that other countries are also a part of the group.

"As long as we turn a blind eye to these organisations in our country we will continue to face such embarrassments," Asif said, according to a Hindustan Times report. He was referring to the joint declaration by BRICS nations, which included JeM, LeT and Haqqani network for the first time.

The Pakistan-based terror outfits have been included in the declaration due to concerns about their violent activities in the region, China said. "These organisations are all sanctioned by the UN Security Council and have a significant impact for Afghanistan issue," foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said. Notably, this is for the first time China has agreed to include Pakistan-based terror groups in BRICS declaration.

Asif further said that Pakistan needs to ask itself if it had fully implemented the National Action Plan on terrorism that was framed after the terrorist attack on a Peshawar school in 2014. “Did we take the measures we had decided (to take), besides Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Raddul Fassad and Khyber 4, during the last three years? Did we show the world that we acted according to the resolve we made in 2014?” India Today report quoted him as saying.

While saying that the Pakistan Army has done its part, he said, "As long as they (terror groups) are out in the public, others won’t believe us."

Pakistan has, however rejected the BRICS declaration with the defense minister saying no group operates freely inside the country. “These organizations, they have some of their remnants in Pakistan, which we’re cleaning," defence minister Khurram Dastagir Khan told the Geo TV channel.

Updated Date: Sep 06, 2017 19:47 PM

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