Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., said Islamic extremism is declining in Pakistan and predicted that it would ultimately be eliminated there in the near future.
“We have absolutely no doubt that in the next coming months we will be able to completely eliminate this phenomenon from our soil,” he said at a World Affairs Council event.
“We are taking action against all groups and I think that has certainly helped develop a much better understanding between us and the United States of America,” he added.
Jilani said the Pakistani government has “taken out” many extremist groups.
“If you look at the figures of the last several years there has been a remarkable reduction in the instances of terrorism in Pakistan. According to some of the independent organizations, this reduction is almost 60-70 percent in violence and extremism. These are ongoing efforts,” he said.
“Obviously, you cannot have a magic wand to bring an end to this phenomenon which is spreading in many countries, but the good thing is the positive news is that in Pakistan we have been able to contain it and the government is taking actions – ongoing actions,” he added.
According to Jilani, the government has “adopted a policy where it will take action against every extremist organization irrespective of its shape and color.”
One of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan, educated there and had traveled to the U.S. on a fiancée visa before the attack that killed 14 people. According to CNN, Pakistani intelligence authorities have raided Malik’s father’s home in central Pakistan. Jilani did not address the shooting.