US supports Pakistan’s move to hold peace talks with Taliban

ISLAMABAD: The United States has supported Pakistan government’s initiative to start dialogue with Tehreek-e-Taliban‚ noting the move has strong domestic consensus.

Talking to Pakistani media men in Washington at the conclusion of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit‚ a senior State Department official said President Obama appreciated Nawaz Sharif’s resolve to address challenges facing Pakistan. These challenges include eliminating terrorism and militancy on the Afghan border as well as his commitment to seek peace with neighbours including India and Afghanistan.

The official said the Pakistani side noted that violence along the Line of Control (LoC) in disputed Kashmir region is a major obstacle to progress in relationship with India.

The State Department and Obama Administration officials said Pakistan also raised the issue of Afghan soil being used against it particularly by India.