Supporting Pakistan in long-term interest of US: State Dept

Mark Toner says there is no change in US policy on Kashmir

APP July 15, 2016
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner. PHOTO: FILE

WASHINGTON: Supporting Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism, violent extremism and building a more stable and democratic society is in the long-term national interests of the United States, a State Department spokesman said on Thursday.

Mark Toner was replying to a question at the US State Department briefing regarding a recent hearing by a Congress committee which demanded to stop assistance to Pakistan.

“Pakistan has suffered greatly from terrorism and the United States believed the country was taking steps to address terrorist violence, particularly focused on groups that threaten Pakistan's stability,”
he said. “They (Pakistan) have made progress shutting down terrorist safe havens. They’ve restored government control in many parts of Pakistan that have been used as terrorist safe havens for many years,” Toner added. He described these efforts as important and meaningful. Toner said the US welcomes comments by army chief General Raheel Sharif that Pakistan’s military and law enforcement agencies will take concrete measures to deny militant groups safe havens or use of Pakistani soil for terrorist activities.

To a question, he said there was no change in US policy on Kashmir, adding that Washington wants to see dialogue between India and Pakistan on how to resolve the conflict over the region.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2016.


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