Lahore: The United States has called on Pakistan to pursue actively terrorist organizations that are using their soil and their territory to find refuge, asserting that they will continue to work with Islamabad and give them the tools to confront the threat of terrorism.
“We’ve also said before that Pakistan is a country that unfortunately knows the effects of terrorism, the tragedy of terrorism. It’s suffered multiple terrorist attacks, mass casualty terrorist attacks, so it understands the stakes here. But we’re going to continue to work with the Pakistani authorities and a full-faith effort both to give them the tools they need and the capabilities they need to confront this threat,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told the media in a presser.
He further said that the US will continue to share intelligence and other information with Pakistan, to point out where they believe that terrorists are finding safe haven.
Talking about the furore over the airstrike last week in Balochistan which allegedly killed Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Toner further said that the U.S. considered the Haqqani Network to be an integral part of Taliban operations, and that the airstrike was crucial as Mansour was targeting U.S. as well as Afghan security personnel.
“Mansour represented an effort to rekindle the war, rekindle the conflict, re-stoke the violence in Afghanistan, and was not interested in pursuing peace. We believe that an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process is the way ultimately to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan,” he said.
When asked if the Barack Obama government trusts Pakistan when it comes to war against terrorism, the spokesperson said that U.S. has always been clear with Islamabad regarding its terror policy and that operational security trumps a need to inform other governments prior to a mission.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier said that the drone strike by the United States in Balochistan was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, to the U.S. responded saying that they do respect Islamabad’s territorial integrity, but that will not stop them from carrying out strikes to remove terrorists targeting American forces.
Sharif said that it was not clear that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was among the two people reportedly killed in the air strike, adding that details of the incident were still being collected.
A statement by the Foreign Office in Islamabad said that while investigations were being carried out, “Pakistan wishes to once again state that the drone attack was a violation of its sovereignty, an issue which has been raised with the United States in the past as well”. (ANI)