US ‘vigorously’ supports succession of democracy in Pakistan: Hale

Islamabad—US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale on Thursday said “United States vigorously supports Pakistan’s flourishing democracy”.
Talking about comments made by Senator John McCain regarding extension in the tenure of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, Hale said these kinds of questions are for Pakistan to answer and these are not the issues on which US will ever take a position.
“Frankly, I am impressed by how lively politics are in Pakistan. We have seen a peaceful transition from one elected government to another elected government,” Hale said in an interview with a Pakistani news channel.
When asked about Taliban chief Mullah Mansour’s death in a drone strike in Balochistan on May 21, Hale said that one must not forget “who was killed”.
“The man had killed a number of civilians and US troops in Afghanistan, he also opposed dialogues and thus was a hurdle in peace dialogue,” the US envoy added. “He was against negotiations, so we did what was needed to be done.”
Hale lauded Pakistan’s efforts in bringing Afghan Taliban on talk’s table and the initiation of quadrilateral peace process in the last Heart Of Asia Conference, but claimed that Taliban are not interested in peace talks
“Twice they publicly rejected Pakistan’s sincere calls to join peace talks. They have chosen the path of continued violence,” Hale said, adding that we (US and Pakistan) need to find a way to Taliban’s approach.
The US ambassador maintained that Afghan Taliban must renounce violence and enter political process.
Rejecting all possibilities of reconciliation with the Haqqani network, Hale opined that taking action against Haqqani network is in Pakistan’s own interest.
Reminding Pakistan about COAS General Raheel Sharif’s July 6 statement, he maintained that it is in Pakistan’s own interest to take action against such groups.
“Haqqani network and other groups have demonstrated through their deeds that engagement isn’t going to get the results,” said Hale.

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