Pak support vital for success in Afghanistan, admits US

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Tehmina renews Islamabad pledge to boost peace

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

United States has acknowledged that being an important country of the region, Pakistan’s support is critical to the success of US strategy in Afghanistan.
US Acting Secretary of State Alice Wells held talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Monday, acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts in eradicating terrorism and conveyed the US’s desire to work with it in furthering the shared objective of stabilizing Afghanistan.
She also underlined the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation between the two sides to improve coordination in counter-terrorism efforts. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua underscored that the relationship with the United States needed to move forward in an environment of mutual trust and respect.
The US delegation was apprised about recent counter-terrorism actions taken by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies, which have contributed to a visible improvement in the security situation of Pakistan, the Foreign Office said. It was mentioned that these “comprehensive counter-terrorism actions would also contribute towards peace and stability in the entire region.”
In the context of the regional situation, the foreign secretary expressed concerns on the continued use of Afghan soil by elements hostile to Pakistan’s stability. She added that strengthening border management mechanisms between Pakistan and Afghanistan was vital to addressing concerns relating to cross border movements.
“Early repatriation of Afghan refugees was also important for improving relations with Afghanistan,” she emphasised.
The foreign secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue its efforts to promote peace and stability in the region.
The foreign secretary also drew the attention of the US delegation to recent irresponsible statements made by the Indian army chief and the pattern of escalation by India on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, and condemned the Indian use of improvised explosive devices resulting in the martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers on Sunday.
She asked the US side to advise restraint to India and stop its escalation tactics.
The two sides agreed that all initiatives owned and led by the Afghans for seeking a peaceful solution should be supported by regional countries.

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