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Kerry Says Extremists From Pakistan Preventing Peace In South Asia


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Pakistan to eliminate "sanctuaries" for extremist groups that he said are preventing peace in the region.

On the second day of a visit to India on August 31, Kerry said that despite some progress in recent months, Pakistan needs to fight harder against militants hiding within its borders.

"It is clear that Pakistan has work to do in order to push harder against its indigenous groups that are engaged in extremist activities," including the Taliban-linked Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba, Kerry said.

"They must work with us to help clear the sanctuaries of bad actors who are affecting not only relations between Pakistan and India but also our ability to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan," he added.

"In fairness, the Pakistanis have suffered greatly from terrorism in their own country," Kerry added. "All of us need to be supportive...of how difficult it is."

The United States accuses Pakistan's intelligence agency of supporting Haqqani militants and using them as proxies in Afghanistan to gain leverage there against the growing influence of India. Pakistan denies this.

Pakistan's army has launched military operations in North Waziristan, where Haqqani is based.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
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