Pakistan has made progress in removing terrorist safe heavens along Afghanistan border: US State Department


WASHIGNTON: (APP) The security of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan are interconnected and it will be better for these countries to cooperate with each other in countering terrorism, a US State Department spokesman said.

"Responding to a question at a briefing at the State Department, Spokesman Mark Toner said that "Afghanistan's security, Pakistan's security, and indeed India's security, they're all interconnected".

"And so as much as they can work in tandem or work in a partnership on counterterrorism operations, I think it's for the betterment of the region," he added.

Responding to a question, the spokesman observed that denying safe havens to terrorists have been part of discussion with Pakistan and acknowledged that there had been progress.

"We've seen them (Pakistan) take some steps to address these safe havens," he said but maintained that the problem persists and there is something which is part of ongoing conversation and dialogue between Pakistan and the United States.

He, however, acknowledged the difficulties going after the save havens in the border region with Afghanistan, given the remote areas that terrorists were hiding in.

The spokesman strongly condemned the Monday's terrorist attack on the parliamentary buildings in Kabul that killed 38 Afghans and wounded more than 70 people. "The United States stands strongly with the people of Afghanistan and remains firmly committed to building a secure, peaceful, and prosperous future for Afghanistan," he added.

Replying to another question, he said there has been a consistent trend of these kinds of senseless acts of violence on the part of the Taliban who have claimed responsibility for the attack in Kabul.

He said that the United States did not want to see Afghanistan slide back into what it was. He said the US trying to build the capacity of the Afghan security forces to determine and to provide for the security of the Afghan people.

"We've also worked hard to foster a Afghan-led peace process, which, again, ultimately is, we believe, the way forward, and we encourage that."

"We want to see a strong, stable, democratic Afghanistan that can never again "provide a safe haven to any terrorist organization," he said.

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