WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was hopeful that the freeing of a kidnapped US-Canadian family in Pakistan was a harbinger for closer cooperation in the future.
“This is a very positive moment and the Pakistan Army performed well,” Mattis told reporters on board a military plane, adding he hoped this would be “a harbinger for the future.”
“We intend to work with Pakistan in a collaborative way in the future to stop terrorism and that includes kidnapping,” Mattis added.
He declined to comment on any specifics on how the hostages were freed.
On Thursday, Pakistan Army recovered five foreign hostages who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012, said a statement released by the Army’s media wing.
The hostages—a Canadian, his US national wife and their three children—were rescued from the captivity of terrorists.
The foreign nationals were captured in Afghanistan by terrorists, added the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
US intelligence services had been tracking the movement of the hostages and informed their Pakistani partners when the hostages were moved across the Pak-Afghan border into Kurram agency on October 11, 2017.
President Donald Trump announced that US and Pakistani officials had secured the release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children from Taliban captivity.
The US leader identified the kidnapped couple as Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, and said their release was a “positive moment” for US relations with Pakistan.