WASHINGTON: The spokesperson for the US Department of State, Victoria Nuland, has said the outpouring of nation-wide sentiment in Pakistan against the Taliban following its attack on Malala Yousafzai is a "silver lining" from this horrible tragedy.
She was asked during the briefing on Friday whether the condemnation by cross-sections of Pakistani society of the Taliban and militancy after the attack on Malala in Swat could be termed a turning point in the fight against extremism in the country, she said this was indeed the silver lining in the tragic incident.
She said that it would help the Pakistani government in going after the extremists with popular support, “obviously.”
“We have seen in the past in Pakistan when the Taliban commit truly heinous and outrageous acts like this, it galvanises popular opinion against them not only in cities, but also in those towns and neighborhoods where they plot and hide,” she recalled while referring to other terrorist activities in Pakistan during the last few years.
Ms Nuland said that they were yet to hear from the Pakistani government about the US offer of treatment facilities for Malala Yousafzai. “We are obviously in contact with the government of Pakistan about what might be needed but I don’t have anything to announce at this stage,” she pointed out.
The spokesperson refused to answer a question about Imran Khan’s drive against drone attacks in Pakistan and his announcement to take it to the next level in the US. “We respect the right of peaceful protests, but I am not going to comment at all on intelligence matters,” she remarked.