ISLAMABAD: In an exclusive interview with Geo News senior anchor, Hamid Mir, US Secretary of State John Kerry said terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Al-Qaeda were violating the sovereignty of Pakistan.
“Pakistan faces a very serious threat. LeT, TTP, Al-Qaeda and Haqqani network attack and kill people in mosques. They blow people up in market places.”
When asked about US drone attacks, the US Secretary of State replied that drone strikes are conducted in the defence of the United States. “We are engaged in counter-terrorism for self defence. We are very appreciative of Pakistan and understand the powerful feelings about any of these efforts. “
Kerry added that terrorist activity in Pakistan was taking place before drones and in areas where there were no drone attacks. “Blowing up women and children can never be excused.”
Kerry said the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was not raised during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “People in Pakistan would feel very good about it (Dr. Aafia’s release) but we have a legal situation which we have to analyse.”
He also told Hamid Mir that the US was decreasing and not completely withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. “Not every single soldier will leave in 2014. We have been very clear about that. We are not withdrawing we are drawing down.”
Speaking on the situation in Egypt, Kerry said that Muhammad Morsi was ousted on the will of the people. He added that the US was against the violence in Egypt and had spoken to the Egyptian army chief personally regarding this matter.