Washington, Jan 5 (PTI) The United States and Pakistan have a shared interest in ensuring that the Taliban acts against terrorist groups and does not let them use its territories, the Biden Administration said Wednesday.
“Terrorism remains a scourge that has taken so many Pakistani, Afghans, and other innocent lives. The United States and Pakistan do indeed have a shared interest in ensuring that the Taliban live up to the commitments and that terrorist groups like ISIS-K, like the TTP, like al-Qaeda are no longer able to threaten regional security,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.
When asked about the threat by TTP against Pakistani political leadership, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Price said the US condemns any threat of violence from any group and certainly a threat of violence like this from a terrorist group like the TTP.
“We know that the Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks. We know that the Taliban has made commitments to curtailing the ability of international terrorists to be able to operate on Afghan soil. We continue to call on the Taliban to uphold those counterterrorism commitments,” he said.
Militants, terrorist groups operating in the border regions, operating inside Afghanistan have claimed far too many Pakistani lives.
“Of course, Pakistan has every right to defend itself. This is ultimately, in some cases, a shared threat to the region and it’s one we take very seriously as do our Pakistani partners, of course,” he said in response to a question.
Pakistan will do what’s in its self-interest and it will take action when it deems appropriate based on the inherent right of self-defense, Price said. Pakistan is a close partner, a close security partner, he added.
“We work closely together to do what is appropriate to confront shared and mutual threats as well as shared opportunities. But I’m not going to speak on any plans or operations that the Pakistanis may be taking or contemplating,” he said.
“The terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan has in the past not only presented a threat to Pakistan but to the region in some cases as we know all too well, well beyond. So these are questions for the Pakistani government. We are a partner of Pakistan, but ultimately, its decisions are its decisions,” he said. PTI LKJ SMN SMN
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