White House backs Pakistan’s peace and stability efforts

The White House on Wednesday voiced its continued support for Islamabad’s efforts to curb militant violence and bring peace and stability to the allied country and the region.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conveyed President Barack Obama’s condolences on assassination of prominent Pakistani politican Salman Taseer in a meeting with the country’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani Tuesday.

“It’s important that we—that our government express our condolences. As you mentioned, this is an individual who had worked hard to promote tolerance, and his loss is a great one for Pakistan.” the spokesman said Wednesday afternoon, a day after a security guard gunned down 66-year old Taseer, who was governor of the largest Punjab province.

“We remain committed to the efforts that the Pakistani government is and must undertake to root out violent extremism and to bring greater peace and stability to that country and to that region of the world,” added Gibbs.

Meanwhile, a Washington-based think tank, The Middle East Institute, headed by former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin, mourned the death of Taseer, calling him “a man of unusual courage and conviction.”

The Middle East Institute was the last organization in the United States to host Taseer, when he spoke May 18, 2010 on “Pakistan 2010: Accomplishments and Opportunities,” and defended the country’s anti terror performance.