US President Donald Trump has praised Pakistan for the safe recovery of a Canadian-American couple and their three children from Taliban’s captivity.
“This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honouring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House.
The unusual praise came less than two months after Trump pilloried Pakistan for aiding and sheltering ‘agents of chaos’ – a reference to the Taliban. Islamabad shot back to the allegation, saying that it could not be made scapegoat for failures in Afghanistan.
“We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations,” said President Trump.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army, aided by intelligence agencies, recovered the Canadian-American couple and their children on Thursday. “They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there,” it added.
On his part, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US expresses ‘deep gratitude’ to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Canada also voiced relief at the release of the Canadian man, his American wife and their three children born in Taliban captivity.
“We are greatly relieved that after being held hostage for five years, Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlan Coleman, as well as their young children, have been released and are safe,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a horrible ordeal over the past five years,” she added in a statement.
Freeland said Canada had been “actively engaged with the governments of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan” in trying to free the couple, but provided no details.