US put Pakistan on notice for cooperation against Taliban sanctuaries: Alice Wells
WASHINGTON: The United States, senior bureau official for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells has said that US has put Pakistan on notice against and expects unequivocal cooperation in ending the sanctuaries the Taliban have been enjoying in its territory.
She said this in an official testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She added that US expect from Pakistan its clear cooperation to end safe havens of Taliban since the remnants of their leaderships fled into Pakistan in 2001.
Alice Wells acknowledged that Pakistan can play an important role and has legitimate interests it wants to ensure are met during any peace process.
She said that the dialogue that we have with Pakistan seeks to address those concerns while also encouraging additional concrete support for Afghan peace efforts.
However, still US administration has not yet seen Pakistan take the sustained or decisive steps that it would have expected to see ten months after the announcement of the South Asia strategy.
Alice Wells added that If Afghan troops and Taliban foot-soldiers can pray together, and then the Afghan people have every reason to believe that their leaders can come together and negotiate an end to this war and adding that achieving progress toward this goal is among our highest diplomatic priorities.
Wells added that the Taliban must renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaida, and accept the Afghan Constitution.
The US will support the government and all Afghan stakeholders as they work to reach a mutually agreeable negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and ensures Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorist groups, Wells said.
Ambassador Wells added that US administration are also working to end the sanctuary that the Taliban have enjoyed for decades in Pakistan and to encourage fighting elements within the Taliban to consider local arrangements to de-escalate the levels of violence.
Laying out four key areas where the administration wants to help bolster prospects for an eventual settlement of the conflict, she said that the US supports Afghan efforts to reduce violence and protect a peace process from spoilers.
The administration supports Afghan government reforms and also encourages Afghans from across the political spectrum to come together in support of peace and to put the interests of their country first during upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.