US to stand with Pak­istan in fight against ex­trem­ism: Kerry

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON: The United States will stand shoul­der-toshoul­der with Pak­istan in its brave fight against ter­ror­ism, US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry said on Mon­day while ap­pre­ci­at­ing Is­lam­abad's sup­port for ef­forts to pro­mote rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with Afghanistan.

The US Sec­re­tary made th­ese re­marks at the start of the 6th Min­is­te­rial Re­view of Pak-US Strate­gic Di­a­logue Process to dis­cuss a broad range of is­sues in­clud­ing econ­omy, in­vest­ment, education and en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion. Sec­re­tary Kerry said the di­a­logue is a chance to reaf­firm mu­tual com­mit­ment to a very strong bi­lat­eral, en­dur­ing re­la­tion­ship based on mu­tual re­spect and mu­tual in­ter­est.

Re­fer­ring to the last month's at­tack at the Bacha Khan Univer­sity, the Sec­re­tary said that the United States con­demns such heinous act and will con­tinue to stand shoul­der-to-shoul­der with Pak­istan and its peo­ple in their brave fight against vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

He ob­served that ter­ror­ists were tar­get­ing ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and stu­dents be­cause they wanted to halt Pak­istan's fu­ture and de­prive the young peo­ple of the knowl­edge they need to com­pete in a global econ­omy and build a strong and pros­per­ous and free so­ci­ety.

The Sec­re­tary said that Pak­istani peo­ple have made it clear they will not be in­tim­i­dated or de­nied the right to build a fu­ture of their own de­sign."In that ef­fort, they can ab­so­lutely count on the con­tin­ued friend­ship and sup­port of the United States," he added. Sec­re­tary Kerry said that dur­ing nearly seven decades of friend­ship, bi­lat­eral ties have some­times been strained but both na­tions al­ways re­cov­ered as peo­ple of the two coun­tries share a fun­da­men­tal de­sire of sta­bil­ity, the hope for peace, and sup­port for re­gional and global eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Our na­tions are com­mit­ted to com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism wher­ever it is and when­ever it en­dan­gers the lives of in­no­cent fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties. As long as that threat re­mains, pro­tect­ing our peo­ple is go­ing to be at the top of our agenda.

On re­gional se­cu­rity, he said the two coun­tries were go­ing to con­tinue ef­forts to pro­mote sta­bil­ity and de­feat those who fo­ment ex­trem­ism and vi­o­lence."In this con­nec­tion, the United States ap­pre­ci­ates Pak­istan's sup­port for ef­forts to pro­mote rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with Afghanistan."

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