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PM Khan says no militants will be allowed to attack from Pakistani soil

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday (March 8) said no militant group would be allowed to operate from Pakistani soil to carry out attacks abroad, days after his government announced a sweeping crackdown against Islamist militant organisations.

Addressing a rally in southern Pakistan, Khan said there was a huge desire to build a peaceful and stable Pakistan. “We will not allow any militant group to operate in our country in the future,” he said.

Pakistan faces growing international pressure to rein in Islamist groups that carry out attacks in neighboring India. One such attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14, claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Pakistan-based group, killed 40 Indian paramilitary police and led to clashes between the nuclear-armed rivals as India retaliated.

Both countries carried out aerial bombing missions last week and even fought a brief dogfight over Kashmir before tensions cooled. But the United States, Britain, and many other nations are urging Pakistan to act against anti-India militant groups.

On Monday (March 4), Pakistan announced a new crackdown against militants and by Thursday (March 7), 182 religious schools run by banned groups had been seized, and more than 120 people detained. Pakistani officials say this crackdown is part of a long-planned drive and not a response to Indian anger.

The South Asian neighbors have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir which they both claim in full but the rule in part.

(Production: Shahabuddin Shahab, Sheree Sardar, Eileen Hsieh)

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