WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to express America’s deepest condolences over the horrific terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, which claimed 141 lives including 131 school children.
According to Deputy Spokesperson State Department Marie Harf, “Secretary Kerry expressed the deepest condolences of the United States to the people of Pakistan after the tragic terrorist attack Tuesday in Peshawar, reaffirming our solidarity with and support for Pakistan in the struggle against extremism, particularly at this difficult time of mourning for the Pakistani people”.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said the attack on the school in Peshawar is the latest manifestation of the savagery of the Taliban.
Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Pakistan has suffered major casualties in the struggle against the Taliban.
“We’re willing to help in the wake of this attack should they want or need any”, the admiral said. “There’s been no request for U.S. assistance. But we’ve certainly made it obvious that we’re willing to assist in any way we can”.
He said the U.S. remains committed to bringing stability to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, emphasizing that the end of the NATO combat mission does not mean an end to U.S. involvement in the region.
Across the border in Afghanistan the mission will change, Kirby said, but American and partner nations will continue their commitment to Afghan stability.
Officials expected the recent spate of Taliban attacks inside the capital as the NATO mission transitions. Kirby said the attacks are a Taliban tactic to divert attention from the fact that real progress has been made and that Afghanistan is a more safe and secure environment
than it was even just six months ago. Afghanistan is still a dangerous place, the admiral said, but no one is walking away from it.