Threats to Pakistan could well be threats to US, says Washington

US stresses security relationship with Pakistan, refrains from confirming possible revival of 'security cooperation'

News Desk February 16, 2023
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks during a news briefing at the department in Washington, US, February 9, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States has reiterated that the security relationship with Pakistan is 'important' and that many of the threats that Islamabad faces "could well in turn be threats to us".

However, Washington shied away from confirming reports of a possible resumption of security cooperation with Islamabad which was suspended during the Trump era. 

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, when asked about the visit of a defense delegation from Pakistan and the rumored resumption of security cooperation, stated that Islamabad is "valued across many realms".

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Refraining from providing any details on the matter, Price said that “Pakistan is a valued partner of the United States. Of course, we have a security relationship that is important to us knowing that many of the threats Pakistan faces could well in turn be threats to us. And so we value the work we do together, but I’m just not in a position to offer anything beyond that.”

During the briefing, in response to another question, the spokesperson also reiterated the US’s resolve to support “the peaceful upholding of democratic, constitutional, and legal principles” and that it values the “longstanding cooperation with Pakistan” that it enjoys.

Speaking specifically about former prime minister Imran Khan’s decision to back-track on his claims that the US was behind his ouster, Price said “we do not let propaganda, misinformation, disinformation get in the way of any bilateral relationship. […] When it comes to various political players inside of Pakistan, we don’t have a position on one political candidate or party versus another.”

Previously, a US foreign policy and national security expert had explained that while the Biden administration has been trying to work with Pakistan on various issues, including on Afghanistan, it was not concerned with the change in the civilian set-up in Pakistan as “any change in the civilian political system really has a very marginal effect on the issues that the US cares the most about”.

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While a recent United States Institute for Peace (USIP) has deemed the TTP not to be a major threat to the United States, the US has consistently expressed interest in the upsurge in terror attacks.

Against the backdrop of the recent Peshawar Police Lines terrorist attack that killed hundreds, the US had said that Pakistan will continue to be its “stalwart partner” in the fight against terrorism.

Similarly, in January, the US supported Pakistan’s right to defend itself from terrorism, saying that the Pakistani people had “suffered tremendously” from such attacks.



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