US: Pakistan has right to defend itself from terrorism

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON: The United States said that Pakistan has a right to defend itself from terrorism as the country has suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks.

The statement from the US comes after Interior Minister Rana Sanullah threatened to target the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in Afghanistan if Kabul does not take action to dismantle them.

The National Security Committee (NSC), under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has also asked the government in Kabul — without naming it — not to provide safe havens to terrorist groups on its soil.

Pakistan has witnessed a sharp rise in terror incidents, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, during the past couple of months after the TTP declared to end the ceasefire with Pakistan.

“We’re aware of the recent statement by the Pakistani National Security Committee,” the US State Department’s spokesman Ned Price said, speaking at a weekly press conference in Washington.

“The Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks. Pakistan has a right to defend itself from terrorism.”

Price said that the US calls on the Taliban to uphold the very commitment they have made to see to it that Afghan soil is never again used as a launchpad for international terrorist attacks.

“These are among the very commitments that the Taliban have been unable or unwilling to fulfil to date,” he said.

The spokesman said that it has been repeatedly said that there will be a response from the United States.

“The Taliban have made commitments to the international community. But more importantly, they have made commitments to the Afghan people. Those are the commitments we care most about. Among the commitments, the Taliban have made but have repeatedly broken when it comes to their own people is an emphasis on human rights,” he stressed.

The State Department’s spokesman continued, “As long as the Taliban is not able to fulfill these commitments, we will respond in a way that registers our strong condemnation while continuing to support the Afghan people. And we’re going to be very careful not to do anything that could further imperil the humanitarian well-being of the Afghan people.”