Pakistan, US voice support for Afghan reconciliation process

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

The US government has said it firmly supports the territorial integrity of Pakistan and does not support Baloch insurgency or any group that threatens the country. The principal deputy assistant secretary of state, Alice Wells has said that the USA had "not seen decisive and sustained changes yet" in Pakistan's efforts against terrorism.

Ms Wells, while assuring Pakistan of continued U.S. support against insurgency, underlined the need for a similar action from Islamabad.

"The recent high level exchanges between the two countries are meant to better understand each other's perspective", The Foreign Secretary said while adding that Pakistan and the USA had been successful partners in fighting terrorism and eliminating Al-Qaeda. She further said that "we are continuing to engage with Pakistan over areas where we think they can play a helpful role in changing the calculus of the Taliban".

She met senior US officials including US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan at the State Department and Deputy National Security Adviser Dr Nadia Schadlow at the White House.

Speaking at the US Institute of Peace, Washington, on Friday, Ms Wells emphasised the need for Pakistan to bring pressure on the Taliban to join the Afghan reconciliation process and to disrupt the annual spring offensive by these insurgents.

She claimed that senior officials of the U.S. and Pakistan are engaged in an "intensive dialogue". Tehmina Janjua said the U.S. is well aware of the importance of Pakistan in the region.

The senior State Department official also referred to the recent USA announcement of rewards for three leaders of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Janjuas visit comes at a time of fresh strain in ties between Islamabad and Washington after the United States successfully moved the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan on the global terror financing watch-list. "Of course, we oppose groups that are targeting Afghanistan", she said while responding to a question.

It said in a statement that it also is offering rewards of $3 million each for information on Abdul Wali, the head of a TTP affiliate, and Mangal Bagh, the leader of a terrorist group accused of attacking North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoys.