US stands by ‘stalwart partner’ Pakistan in terror war

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The United States has said Pakistan will continue to be its “stalwart partner” in the fight against terrorism.

The remarks by US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price came on Tuesday against the backdrop of the recent Peshawar Police Lines terrorist attack that killed over 100 people, mostly policemen.

The suicide bombing was one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan and sent shockwaves among the people, who fear the return of dark days of war on terror.

In view of the spike in terrorism, the State Department spokesperson was asked whether the US was extending any help and his response was: “Pakistan will continue to be a stalwart partner of the United States and vice versa in the face of these types of horrific terrorist attacks.”

Reacting to the Peshawar tragedy, the spokesperson said that the US has issued a statement after the terrorist attack.

“Of course, this is – any terrorist attack is something that we condemn with the utmost vociferousness. But this attack resulted in the deaths of scores of innocent civilians as well as public servants, individuals who had dedicated their lives to protecting their fellow Pakistani citizens,” Ned Price said.

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“This is a scourge that affects Pakistan, it affects India, it affects Afghanistan. It is something that we’re focused on throughout the entire region. When it comes to Pakistan, they’re an important partner of the United States, and a partner in any number of ways. We’ve talked in recent days about our commitment to stand with Pakistan in the face of these security threats,” he maintained.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who recently visited Washington, had said that Pakistan and the US would soon hold counter-terrorism talks.

Pakistan is currently crafting a new strategy to deal with the resurgent banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). There are concerns that the country may face challenges given the fact that unlike the past, this time it may not have the support from countries such as the US to deal with the terrorist outfit.

In the height of war on terror and during the military offences in the erstwhile tribal areas, Pakistan had the support of the US both in terms of resources and equipment. It is a known fact that the US drone campaign, though was publically unpopular in Pakistan, had caused a major dent to the TTP, because a number of their commanders including TTP chiefs were taken out in drone strikes.

This time Pakistan does not have that luxury which is something experts think could complicate the challenges the country has to face in order to prepare for taking on the resurgent terrorist groups.

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