- State dept says support to Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism is
The United States said that Pakistan, India and Kashmir should solve the Kashmir issue together.
“We want to see dialogue between India and Pakistan and the Kashmir on how to resolve the conflict in Kashmir and our policy hasn’t changed,” State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said in a press briefing here on Wednesday.
He refused to comment on the issue of recent deaths in Kashmir and United Nations resolution on the Kashmir issue.
About the Congress committee’s demand to stop assistance to Pakistan, the deputy spokesperson said the US has been witnessing such remarks before. He said Pakistan has greatly suffered from terrorism.
“We believe that Pakistan is taking steps to address terrorist violence, particularly focused on groups that threaten Pakistanis, and Pakistan’s stability. They have made a progress shutting down terrorist safe havens. They’ve restored government control in many parts of Pakistan that have been used as terrorist safe havens for many years,” he said.
Toner described these steps as important and meaningful. He said, “They’ve also come at a cost, and that cost is certainly in Pakistani lives.”
He said the US has made this point before and they have been very clear that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbours, and close all the safe havens.
He said they certainly welcome comments by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on July 6, when he directed Pakistani military commanders, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures to deny any militant group’s safe haven or the use of Pakistani soil to launch terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
The deputy spokesperson refused to comment on Senator McCain suggestion for extension in Gen Sharif’s service.
However, he said, we are continuing to address some of our concerns about where Pakistan needs to move next in terms of combating terrorist threats. He said it is in the US long-term national interests to support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism, violent extremism, and build a more stable and democratic society.