WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama Friday vowed to work with Pakistan for achievement of strategic stability in South Asia and viable peace in Afghanistan, as the United States underlined its strong and vital relationship with the country.
We will continue to work with both India and Pakistan to promote strategic stability, combat terrorism, and advance regional economic integration in South and Central Asia, Obama vowed in his administration’s second National Security Strategy delivered to Congress on Friday.
In acknowledgement of Pakistan’s role for regional stability including peace efforts in Afghanistan,
Obama said: We will also work with the countries of the region, including Pakistan, to mitigate the threat from terrorism and to support a viable peace and reconciliation process to end the violence in Afghanistan and improve regional stability.
At the State Department, spokesperson Marie Harf emphasized the importance of U.S. having a close relationship with Pakistan.
We have a relationship with India, with Pakistan, they are both strong, they are both vital to our strategic interests and they stand on their own, Harf explained in response to a question vis-/-vis U.S. relations with the two South Asian neighbours.
In Afghanistan, the new White House strategy notes that the United States has ended our combat mission and transitioned to a dramatically smaller force focused on the goal of a sovereign and stable partner in Afghanistan that is not a safe haven for international terrorists.
This has been made possible by the extraordinary sacrifices of our U.S. military, civilians throughout the interagency, and our international partners.
They delivered justice to Osama bin Laden and significantly degraded al-Qaida’s core leadership. They helped increase life expectancy, access to education, and opportunities for women and girls.
Going forward, the White House strategy says, we will work with partners to carry out a limited counterterrorism mission against the remnants of core al-Qaida and maintain our support to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The U.S., the security framework says, is working with NATO and other partners to train, advise, and assist the ANSF as a new government takes responsibility for the security and well being of Afghanistan’s citizens.
With respect to partnership with India, Obama says in South Asia, we continue to strengthen our strategic and economic partnership with India.
We support India’s role as a regional provider of security and its expanded participation in critical regional institutions.