The United States has reiterated its support to Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, saying the latter will continue to be a “stalwart partner” of the US in the face of recent terrorist attacks.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price made this statement in response to a query at a weekly press briefing on Monday.
On Jan 30, a powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in Peshawar’s Red Zone area where between 300 and 400 people — mostly police officers — had gathered for prayers. The suicide blast blew away the wall of the prayer hall and an inner roof and claimed 84 lives.
The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) initially claimed responsibility for the attack. It later distanced itself from it but sources earlier indicated that it might have been the handiwork of some local faction of the outlawed group.
Commenting on the renewed wave of terrorism in Pakistan, Price said “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, he said, “they are an important partner of the US, 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,” the spokesperson underlined.
Over the past few months, terrorism has been rearing its head again in the country, especially in KP and Balochistan. Pakistan has seen a rise in terrorist attacks across the country, believed to have been planned and directed by the TTP leaders based in Afghanistan.
The TTP, which has ideological linkages with the Afghan Taliban, executed more than 100 attacks last year, most of which happened after August when the group’s peace talks with the Pakistan government began to falter. The ceasefire was formally ended last year on Nov 28 by the TTP.