ISLAMABAD: Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells on Tuesday asked Pakistan to address “the continuing presence of the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups within its territory.”
Earlier, speaking to Geo News, she said that the United States (US) considers Pakistan’s enemies as its own.
She also said that the US doesn’t support any separatist movement in Balochistan. Wells reiterated that it is Washington’s utmost desire to continue the longstanding bilateral partnership with Islamabad.
A US delegation led by Ambassador Alice Wells on Thursday called on the Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to a statement by foreign office, the visiting delegation was informed about the overall gains that Pakistan has been able to make in the last few years which are in line with the priorities of the government.
These measures include overcoming energy shortfalls, stabilising and setting the economy on the path of sustained high growth and enabling a secure environment through vigorous counter-terrorism operations.
The foreign secretary hoped that the ongoing US review would result in a comprehensive political strategy to promote reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan and the region as a whole.
Ambassador Wells was assured that Pakistan supports all initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable peace and security in the region and it was emphasised that a strong partnership with the United States was critical in achieving the shared objectives.
While thanking the foreign secretary, Wells acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
She also agreed on the importance of a strong partnership between the United States and Pakistan and gave US’s perspective on how to move the relationship forward in the coming years.
Ambassador Wells reiterated that the objective of bilateral cooperation was to seek a stable, secure and prosperous Pakistan.
Later, in her meetings with different Pakistani officials, she said that the new relationship should be based on mutual interest in realising a stable and prosperous region, according to a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Pakistan.
— US Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) January 16, 2018
“Acknowledging Pakistan’s considerable sacrifices in fighting terrorism, Ambassador Wells emphasised that the US’ South Asia strategy represents an opportunity to work together for the establishment of a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, the defeat of ISIS in South Asia, and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States,” the statement added.
“Ambassador Wells urged the government of Pakistan to address the continuing presence of the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups within its territory,” the embassy statement concluded.
Ambassador Wells, who wrapped up her two-day trip on Tuesday after meetings with senior Pakistani officials, was the first high-ranking American official to travel to Islamabad after President Trump slammed Pakistan for ‘lies and deceit’ in his new year tweet.
It is pertinent to mention here that Islamabad has repeatedly denied the allegations that it is providing sanctuary to any terrorist group, including the Haqqani network. Pakistan has also said it would not hesitate in acting against such groups if Washington provides ‘actionable intelligence’ about the presence of any militant outfit on its soil.