WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan have many opportunities to work together for defeating terrorism and restoring stability in Afghanistan, says the US Department of Defence as the White House assures Kabul of its continued support.

Such assurances from the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department follow a series of recent terrorist attacks in Kabul that killed hundreds of civilians, including many journalists.

The attacks caused speculations in the US media that the Trump administration may reconsider its pledge to stay engaged with Afghanistan if the situation worsened.

Some media reports also suggested that the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may back proposals for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan if the situation does not improve.

At a Thursday afternoon news briefing, Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White not only reiterated continued US support to Kabul but also reminded Islamabad of the need to work with neighbouring states to bring peace and stability to the region.

“So, with respect to Pakistan, we have opportunities with Pakistan,” said Ms White when asked if Pakistan was supporting US efforts to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan. “We think Pakistan can do more, and we’ll look to them and work with them to find opportunities to further regional security.”

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2018

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