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Charities, especially those affiliated with the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), have sought to exploit the situation and earn the good will of the local population by providing aid.

Pakistan’s commitment to rooting out such militant groups is viewed with skepticism in some quarters of the Obama administration.

Steve Coll, president of the New America Foundation, said U.S. policymakers could ask whether Pakistan is doing everything it could be reasonably asked to do to cut ties with militant groups.

“There is a disagreement to the answer to that question within the U.S. government,” Mr. Coll said.

Mr. Karamat defended Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency’s ties to the Taliban.

“The ISI has been in contact with the Taliban ever since the Taliban was created. That doesn’t mean the ISI is supporting the Taliban against the U.S.,” he said, adding, “It may be actually helping the U.S. resolve some issues with the Taliban … as we go into reconciliation, this factor is going to be more and more important.”

The process of reconciliation, which is based on the central premise of giving Taliban leaders a place in the Afghan government in exchange for them renouncing violence and respecting the Afghan Constitution, has made little headway.