Negotiations with TTP an internal matter of Pakistan: US



The United States reiterated its support to Pakistan’s counter terrorism effort and declared that Pakistan’s negotiations with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are its internal matter.

“The issue of whether to negotiate with TTP is an internal matter for Pakistan,” a State Department spokesperson told a news agency on Wednesday when asked about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s announcement to pursue peace talks with Taliban.

“We support Pakistan’s efforts to counter violent extremism, including its efforts to decrease the threat posed by groups like the TTP and others,” the spokesperson said.

“More broadly, the United States and Pakistan continue to have a vital, shared strategic interest in ending extremist violence so as to build a more prosperous, stable, and peaceful region,” he added.

The US remarks follow the meetings of Sharif’s National Security and Foreign Affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz with top Obama Administration officials including Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

“It was a good, wide-ranging discussion, as they always are with Pakistan. And clearly there are lots of issues between us that we continue to need to talk about and work through, and I think that the discussion this week was helpful in that regard,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.

Kirby said NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Torkham gate remains closed due to security reasons.

“There’s no traffic moving through the Torkham Gate still. Still, temporarily, no traffic moving through there. We obviously would like to see that traffic begin as soon as possible because it is certainly cheaper to move retrograde material on the ground through the Torkham Gate,” he said.

“The Pakistani government has been very clear that they too would like to re-open it, but that they have, you know, the issue of protesters that they’re dealing with. Secretary Hagel knows that they’re working hard,” he said.