US says Pakistan has ‘right to defend’ itself from terrorism

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Ned Price IMF

Washington: The United States has reiterated its support to Pakistan against terrorism and said that the country has a “right to defend itself from terrorism”.

Commenting on the recent cross-border attacks in Pakistan and the rising terror wave caused by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said in an interview that Islamabad might target the terrorist faction in Afghanistan if Kabul did not take action to dismantle them.

“When these problems arise, we first ask Afghanistan, our brotherly Islamic nation, to eliminate their hideouts and hand over those individuals to us, but if that doesn’t happen then what you mentioned is possible,” Sanaullah had said.

When asked about the United States’ position on this, Ned Price, State Department spokesperson, said on Tuesday that Pakistan has a “right to defend itself from terrorism” as the Pakistani people have “suffered tremendously” from terrorist attacks.

Ned Price called on the Afghan Taliban to make sure the country’s soil is never again used as a “launchpad for international terrorist attacks”.

“These are among the very commitments that the Taliban have been unable or unwilling to fulfill to date,” Ned Price added.

US stands ‘ready to assist’ Pakistan against TTP

Last month, the United States stretched support to its “important security partner” — Pakistan — against the threat of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) when more than two dozen terrorists seized a CTD compound in Bannu.

Asked when, in the coming days, the US would conduct targeted drone attacks in the region against these terrorist groups, Ned Price said that the US partnered with “Pakistani friends” to take on this challenge, adding that it stands “ready to assist”.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan is a partner when it comes to these shared challenges of terrorist groups – terrorist groups inside of Afghanistan, and terrorist groups along the Afghan-Pakistan border.