|US hopes closer co-action against terror|
27 June 2012
WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Tuesday hoped that with a new prime minister in place, Washington’s ties with Islamabad would soon be back on track not only on political and economic issues, but also on issues related to counter-terrorism, Geo News reported.
“Now that there is a declared successor, the US hopes to be able to move on together and to continue to work on strengthening not only our political and economic relationship, but our counterterrorism relationship and get back on track there", State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.
The United States has been working with the Pakistani government all along, she said, adding that the Pentagon just announced a senior-level visit to Pakistan for tomorrow.
"So we will continue to try to keep those channels open and do what we can to improve the situation," she said.
Nuland also acknowledged that there are frustrations on both sides of the border over militant activities and called for respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity in addressing cross-border terrorism.
“Our pitch will be again for increased cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan on these terrorists issues, working together in the core group in a trilateral way NATO/ISAF, Pakistan and Afghanistan to try to deal with terrorism on both sides of the border,” State Department spokesperson said.
“It speaks to why we want to get back on track in our own counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan,” she added.
Nuland was responding to a question regarding Pakistan’s lodging a strong protest that the NATO and Afghan forces were not taking any action against the safe havens on the Afghan side, which the militants use for attacking Pakistani border areas.
Pakistani officials said about 100 militants from across the Afghan border entered Dir and clashed with Pakistani security forces on patrol duty. The militants also targeted two security check posts near the Pakistan-Afghan border in Barawal, Upper Dir district.
When asked if Washington would support Pakistani troops crossing over the Afghan border to attack militant safe havens, Nuland said, “Again, both sides need to respect sovereignty, territorial integrity but they need to work together in how they are each going to deal with problems on their own side of the border. I think there are frustrations on both sides.”
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