Obama-Nawaz Sharif
US President Barack Obama with Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif in this file photo. The United States warned Pakistan against its 'pick and choose' policy towards terrorist groups Reuters

The US State Department has warned Pakistan that it cannot "pick and choose" the terrorist groups it goes after. Mark Toner, the department's deputy spokesman, on Thursday (8 September) also dismissed 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's comments that the US and India have joined hands against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Responding to Saeed's allegations Toner said, "I would dismiss it outright. We have a strong bilateral relationship with Pakistan, but one that is premised on counterterrorism cooperation and as – as part of that conversation, or that dialogue and that cooperation that we have on counterterrorism issues, we made it very clear that Pakistan can't pick and choose which terrorist groups it goes after and it has to go after those groups that seek to do harm to its neighbors and may seek refuge on Pakistani soil."

Washington in an earlier response to former US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad's observation had said that it was in constant conversation with the top leaders of Pakistan regarding the terror camps like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operating in the region.

Few days ago Khalilzad had said that since Pakistan was not taking strict action against terror organisations, the US should consider taking some kind of sanctions against the country.

"And our basic point in all of these conversations is that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan's neighbors, and eliminate all safe havens," Toner had said.