US Acting Assistant Secretary acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts in eradicating terrorism

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 15 (APP):US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in eradicating terrorism and said that the US wanted to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of stabilizing Afghanistan.

She said that as an immediate neighbour and important country of the region, Pakistan’s support was critical to the success of the US strategy for Afghanistan. To this end, Ambassador Wells underlined the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation between the two sides to improve coordination in counter-terrorism efforts.

The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells said this during her visit to Foreign Office here on Monday.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua received the Ambassador Wells.

The Ambassador Wells was accompanied by senior officials from US National Security Council and Ambassador David Hale. Foreign Secretary was assisted by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says a press release here.

The visit was a part of regular engagement between the two countries on bilateral and regional cooperation.

The Foreign Secretary said that the relationship with the United States needed to move forward under an environment of mutual trust and respect.

US delegation was apprised about recent counter-terrorism actions taken by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies that contributed to visible improvement in the security situation of Pakistan. It was mentioned that these comprehensive counter-terrorism acts would also contribute towards peace and stability in the region.

The Foreign Secretary expressed concerns over the continued use of Afghan soil by elements hostile to Pakistan’s stability. She said that strengthening border management mechanisms between Pakistan and Afghanistan was vital for addressing concerns relating to cross border movements.

Early repatriation of Afghan refugees was also important for improving relations with Afghanistan, she emphasized.

The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue its efforts for promotion of peace and stability in the region.

The Foreign Secretary drew the attention of the US delegation towards the recent irresponsible statement by the Indian Army Chief and the pattern of escalation by India along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary and condemned the Indian use of IEDs resulting in the martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers last night. She asked the US side to advise restraint to India and stop its escalation tactics.

The two sides agreed that all initiatives owned and led by the Afghans for seeking a peaceful solution should be supported by the regional countries. Pakistan’s positive role in several peace initiatives was appreciated.—APP

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