Supporting Pakistan's "inherent right of self-defense" from the scourge of terrorism, a US State Department spokesperson said that Islamabad "will do what’s in its self-interest, and it will take action when it deems appropriate."
Pakistan has seen an uptick in terror activities, especially during the last couple of months since the end of the ceasefire with the government by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in November 2022.
"The terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan has in the past not only presented a threat to Pakistan but to the region. So these are questions for the Pakistani government. We are a partner to Pakistan, but ultimately its decisions are its decisions," Spokesperson Ned Price said in response to a question related to the terrorist hideouts in the border areas.
The spokesperson said that terrorism is a "threat that Pakistan itself faces" and has suffered huge losses in terms of precious lives in various terrorist attacks led by militants operating in the border regions.
He reiterated US' support for Pakistan's right to self-defence against the "enduring challenge" of terrorism "emanating from Afghanistan" that took many Pakistani lives.
"Of course, Pakistan has every right to defend itself. This is ultimately, in some cases, a shared threat to the region, and it’s one we take very seriously, as do our Pakistani partners, of course," Price said.
When asked whether the US is encouraging Pakistan to take any action in this regard, Price said: "Pakistan will do what’s in its self-interest, and it will take action when it deems appropriate based on the inherent right of self-defense".
The spokesperson said that the presence of militants has been an "enduring challenge" for the US, NATO and "certainly for Afghanistan’s neighbours, who have most frequently been the victims of attacks that have emanated from Afghanistan".
Price further stated that the US condemns any threat of violence from the TTP or any other terrorist group.
"US and Pakistan do indeed have a shared interest in ensuring that the Taliban live up to the commitments and that terrorist groups like Daesh, like the TTP, like Al-Qaeda are no longer able to threaten regional security," he added.
Ned Price said that Pakistan is a close security partner with US but he will not comment on any plans or operations Islamabad may be taking or contemplating.
"The terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan has in the past not only presented a threat to Pakistan but to the region. So these are questions for the Pakistani government. We are a partner to Pakistan, but ultimately its decisions are its decisions," Price said.
The US continues to call on the Taliban to uphold the counterterrorism commitments and pledges to curtail the ability of international terrorists to be able to operate on Afghan soil, he concluded.
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