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John Kerry says Pakistan Committed to Going after Terrorists Extremism

Posted by on Friday, February 20, 2015, 14:31
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Secretary of State John Kerry expressed United States’ appreciation for Pakistan’s “critical” efforts towards peace and security in the region as he hosted talks with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, underscoring wide-ranging cooperative ties between the two countries.

John Kerry - Ch Nisar Ali Khan

John Kerry – Ch Nisar Ali Khan

“Pakistan obviously is playing a critical role right now in a number of respects,” Kerry, said while welcoming Minister Khan for a meeting at the State Department.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. Jalil Abbas Jilani accompanied the Interior Minister, who is representing Pakistan at the Summit on countering violent extremism. On the U.S. side, Dan Feldman, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, assisted Secretary Kerry during the meeting.

“First of all, in the transition taking place in Afghanistan, we are witnessing an unprecedented level of effort to try to produce cooperation.  And thus far, there are some signs of real results with respect to that.  And we’re grateful for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to this, for (Army Chief) General Raheel’s efforts.  They’ve been real,” Kerry said, standing alongside Khan before the meeting.

Secondly, Kerry noted, Islamabad is “committed to going after terrorists, all forms of extremism in Pakistan.  And they are making good on that in their initiatives in the western part of the country and elsewhere, and in their cooperation on counterterrorism.”

Thirdly, the top American diplomat said, the Pakistanis are “committed to democracy” to the evolution of their own democracy, to the strengthening of it, and to trying to be a partner in the region for peace and stability of the region.”

During the meeting, matters relating to bilateral relations with particular focus on the peace and security situation in the region came under discussion.

“The Interior Minister and Secretary Kerry expressed satisfaction over the pace of bilateral cooperation between the two countries under the strategic dialogue process,” the Pakistani embassy said.

Secretary Kerry recalled his last visit to Islamabad and fruitful meetings with the Prime Minister and other leaders. He expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and extremism, and commended its resolve and the steps being taken to tackle terrorism in a comprehensive manner.

The American diplomat also lauded the Prime Minister’s initiatives for regional peace and development.

“Both sides recognized the need for the United States and Pakistan to closely coordinate and cooperate with each other and with Afghanistan to ensure peace and stability in that country.”

During the Press stakeout before the meeting, Kerry also referred to challenges Pakistan is trying to grapple with.

“So we have a lot of challenges.  A lot has happened in the last years, that has emboldened some of the extremists.  It’s something that Pakistan is deeply concerned about.  We’ve had long conversations about it.”

He also looked forward to “continuing the cooperative effort on the economy as well as the cooperative effort in counterterrorism and democracy building.

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