Pakistan still safe haven for Taliban, Haqqani network, Al Qaeda: Ted Poe

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 04:04 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 421 times

Alleging that Pakistan fosters a relationship with terrorist groups, an influential US lawmaker on Monday urged the Trump Administration to have a final determination on whether the South Asian country is a state sponsor of terrorism.

 

Congressman Ted Poe from Texas, who is Chairman of the powerful House Subcommittee on Terrorism, said if the Trump administration did not want to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, there had to be a “legal justification” as to why it did not meet the criteria for such a designation.

Poe last week introduced legislation -- HR 1449, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2017 – which seeks a final determination from the new US government in this regard. “The bill does not designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, it requires the resident and the State Department to make that determination,” he told reporters on Monday.

The resolution requires the US president to issue a report within 90 days detailing whether Pakistan provided support for international terrorism. Within a month, the secretary of state is required to submit a follow-up report containing either a determination or a justification why Pakistan does not meet the legal criteria for such a designation.

“Pakistan fosters relationship with terrorist groups as a way to leverage over its rivals in India and Afghanistan,” Poe alleged. “All I am asking for in this legislation is a review of Pakistan. Let’s get all the evidence and let the US government make that determination.

“The evidence that I have seen, just some of the evidence that I have presented to you, calls for a review of Pakistan’s position on issue of terrorism. Are they State sponsor of terrorism or they are not? This is what this legislation does,” he said.

Poe claimed there were proofs of ISI supporting numerous terrorist acts in Afghanistan, including one at a NATO outpost in Kabul in September 2012. “Pakistan is a safe haven for Afghan Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Haqqani network.”

Several top Afghan Taliban leaders had been killed inside Pakistan, the lawmaker said. Due to these activities, he added, the Defense Department had not issued any certificate that Pakistan had taken action against the Haqqani network.