WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday emphasised its ‘shared interest’ with Pakistan in addressing the critical threat that terrorism poses to the entire region.

At the State Department’s daily news briefing, Spokesperson Matthew Miller also focused on the treatment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and urged Islamabad not to repatriate them due to the dire situation in Afghanistan.

“We remain committed to working with Pakistan to address the shared threat posed by terrorist groups throughout the region,” said Miller, commenting on a recent ISPR statement about the involvement of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a series of terrorist attacks in the country.

Pakistan has suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists, and “we regret the loss of life and injuries sustained and offer our heart-felt condolences to those affected by these attacks”, he added.

Underlining the need to protect Afghans forced to seek refuge in neighbouring states, he emphasised: “We will continue to encourage Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Pakistan, to respect the non-return advisory, given the dire situation in Afghanistan.”

Miller refrained from taking a stance on speculations that former prime minister Imran Khan would be released soon, stating: “We do not take position on those matters. Those matters are for the government of Pakistan to decide.”

In his briefing on Tuesday, the spokesperson welcomed diplomatic engagement between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, applauding Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s expected visit to Islamabad later this month.

Asked to comment on the Saudi prince’s visit, Matthew Miller said: “Certainly, we always support diplomatic engagement between our partners,” adding that he did not have further details about the visit.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2024

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