US stands ‘ready to assist’ Pakistan against TTP

Ned Price IMF

Washington: The United States once again reiterated support to its “important security partner” — Pakistan — against the threat of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), saying its been closely following reports that militants have seized control of the counterterrorism centre in Bannu.

Ned Price, US Department of State spokesperson, urged those responsible for the attack on the CTD in Bannu to “cease all acts of violence”, safely release those who remain hostage and end the seizure of the CTD centre.

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”.

Talks between Pakistani officials and the leadership of the TTP are underway in Afghanistan to resolve a stand-off with the TTP, who are holding several security personnel hostages after seizing control of a CTD facility in the country’s northwest on Sunday.

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.

On a question of the recent war of words between the Pakistani and Indian Foreign Ministers, Ned Price said that the US would like to see “constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan”.

On the relations of the US with India and Pakistan, Ned said: “These relationships in our mind are not zero-sum.”

“We don’t view them in relation to one another. Each of them is indispensable to us,” he added.

He said that the fact that the US has partnerships with both countries leaves it not wanting to see a “war of words between India and Pakistan”.

“There is much work that we can do together bilaterally. There are differences that, of course, need to be addressed between India and Pakistan. The United States stands ready to assist as a partner to both,” he added.

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