“I don’t have the evidence what you’re referring to, but our policy is clear that no country should support non-state actors,” Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, said while interacting with a group of journalists at the US Embassy here.
Pakistan has long been expressing its concerns regarding India allegedly using the Afghan soil to create trouble and often presented as evidence the case of Indian prisoner Kulbushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017.
Islamabad claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.
Commenting on Pakistan’s allegations regarding India’s role in creating trouble in Balochistan, she urged regional countries to respect each other’s sovereignty, without naming India, the Express Tribune reported.
“We recognise and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan. We do not support any separatist or irredentist movements,” she said.
“We think it’s critical that nations of this region respect one another and work to achieve peace and economic growth,” she added.
Wells, who was part of a delegation headed by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, said the US would never condone or support any use of “terrorist proxies against another country.”
She also said the US had no information regarding Pakistan Army’s latest allegations that Afghan and Indian secret agencies were funding the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), an ethnic Pashtun rights group based in tribal region.
On the possibility of resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India, Wells said Pakistan needed to demonstrate its commitment to ensure that “militant groups can’t take advantage of Pakistani soil.”
India and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan of providing safe haven to the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network and other militant groups, which carry out attacks in the two countries.
Wells said the US welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s public statements affirming his resolve not to allow Pakistan’s soil to be used against any other country.
“I would positively note that many comments the prime minister has made in public underscoring his government’s commitment to moving away from non-state actors to ensuring that the national action plan that Pakistan has forged is implemented,” she said.