Central Intelligence Agency chief says USA needs Pakistan help on Taliban safe havens

PM Modi cannot pursue peace with Pak at cost of his own security US official

PM Modi cannot pursue peace with Pak at cost of his own security US official

Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo has said a US-Canadian couple kidnapped by militants in Afghanistan had been held for five years inside Pakistan before being freed, contradicting the Pakistan Armys claim that the hostages were rescued shortly after entering the country from Afghanistan.

"We had a great outcome last week when we were able to get back four U.S. citizens who had been held for five years inside of Pakistan", Pompeo said at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank in Washington.

Pompeo's remarks appeared to be the first time a US official has publicly stated that the couple and their children spent their captivity in Pakistan, contrary to accounts from Pakistani officials.

Caitlan Coleman, an American citizen, and her husband Joshua Boyle, a Canadian citizen, were kidnapped in 2012 in Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip. All of the couples three children were born in captivity.

He said the USA needs to have "a very real conversation with them about what it is they are doing. and the American expectations for how they will behave".

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The family's rescue has been hailed by US President Donald Trump as a "positive moment" for US-Pakistan relations.

The Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against United States interests in Afghanistan.

Condemning the "barbaric" attack on an army camp in Kandahar province in which 43 soldiers were killed, the Ministry of External Affairs said the recent strikes "demonstrate" that safe havens and support systems continue to be available to terrorists.

The MEA said, "states hosting the terrorists and their sanctuaries must eliminate them immediately and without distinction".

Pakistani army however has said the couple was freed when they entered into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

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