In a synonymous stand to New Delhi, the United States has asked Pakistan to prosecute UN-designated terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, asserting that the de-escalation of India-Pakistan tensions is contingent to Islamabad's seriousness against terrorist outfits.
Alice Wells, US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia said that Pakistan needs to take action against those engaging in 'cross-border infiltration' saying, "I think what we would like to see are the conditions whereby India and Pakistan can have a constructive conversation that leads to an improvement of relations between the two nuclear powers."
The US representative said that Pakistan needs to ensure the implementation of the FATF action plan, which includes prosecution of terrorists who have perpetrated terror attacks on Indian soil, and safeguarded in Pakistan. She said, "And obviously, that is going to hinge off of counterterrorism, off of Pakistan's seriousness of effort in ensuring that groups don't take advantage and engage in cross-border infiltration, that there are serious steps to implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan that Pakistan has committed to, and which includes the prosecution of UN-designated terrorists."
"So whether it's Hafiz Saeed who currently is in custody and under prosecution, but also leaders of Jaish-e-Mohammed, like Masood Azhar, who long have been able to exploit their presence on Pakistani soil," she added.
According to intel sources, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief had been secretly freed by Pakistan early in September, despite facing the heat of FATF. According to Republic sources, Masood Azhar's last known location was Markaz Subhan Allah, Bahawalpur. His health, according to reports, has considerably improved however the terrorist avoids giving sermons. On March 1, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mehmood Qureshi had inadvertently admitted that Masood Azhar was in Pakistan but is 'unwell,' and even that the Pakistani administration is in contact with the UN-designated terrorist.
On Thursday, Pakistan had reached out to the UN Security Council requesting him to allow the globally designated terrorist, Hafiz Saeed, to access his frozen bank account to cover 'basic living expenses.' Pakistan in a letter to UN said that Hafiz Saeed needs funds to cover the basic expenses for his 'family of four,' as a 'sole supporter' and its responsible for food, drink and clothes expenses for his family members. Pakistan requested to give an allowance of 1,50,000 Pakistan rupees to the terrorist per month. On July 17, Republic TV had also accessed first visuals of Mumbai terror attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed's arrest by Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department in Lahore, Pakistan, and the VIP treatment given to the terrorist.
(With PTI inputs)