“Under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Pakistan is moving away from terrorism”, claimed a key US senator.
Senator Tim Kaine, who is a member of two powerful Senate committees on foreign relations and armed service, told reporters over the weekend that the directional change came after the 2013 general elections, which brought a new democratic set-up in the country.
Senator Kaine, a top Democrat, met the prime minister last week, when he visited the US Congress and met members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“War against terrorism, continued presence of terrorist safe havens was one of the major topics of discussion with the visiting Pakistani leader,” Senator Kaine said at a meeting with Defence Writers Group in Washington.
“My sense is that Pakistan is now really going after enclaves of terrorists in North Waziristan and other areas. They are sincerely doing it,” he said.
“Those organisations are feeling tough pressure. They are fighting back against the Pakistani government because they are feeling that the Pakistani government is cracking down on them,” he added.
Senator Kaine, however, said that former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s recent claims about his country’s links with militant groups were not surprising.
“I am not surprised to hear him say that in the past that was the case. I think that the evidence about ties between some aspects of the Pakistani government with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in connection with the attack in Mumbai in 2008 is pretty hard to deny,” he claimed.
“When you get into the intel and explore, you get the questions how high the ties were and how officially they were sanctioned.
But there were definitely ties,” said Mr Kaine who visited the 26/11 terrorist attack sites in Mumbai last October.
“The connection between those attackers and at least some elements in the Pakistani government, I do not think they can be credibly denied.’