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Wells
Wells

US Wants Pakistan to Continue Supporting the Afghan Peace Process: Wells

WASHINGTON – US Assistant Secretary Alice G. Wells said that “on Afghanistan reconciliation, we recognize that Pakistan has taken steps to encourage Taliban participation in peace Talks, which has been important to the progress we have made thus far,” Dawn news reported Friday.
“(But) there is much more work to be done to achieve our ultimate goal of a peaceful Afghanistan free of terrorist groups,” Wells added.
Ms Wells outlined the administration’s priorities for Pakistan before the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation, which began a hearing on Thursday on the State Department’s budget requests for the South and Central Asian regions.
The United States wants Pakistan to continue supporting the Afghan peace process but also expects Islamabad to end its allegedly “unacceptable support” to militants, say two key US officials, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Assistant Secretary Alice G. Wells.
“Our approach to Pakistan has focused largely on securing Islamabad’s support for the Afghan peace process and for Pakistan to follow through on its pledges to take sustained and irreversible actions against all militant groups operating from within its territory,” said Wells, who looks after South Asian affairs at the US State Department.
She further added that we exp¬ect Pakistan to continue to play a constructive role in reconciliation efforts, adding that, no other country will benefit more from a peaceful Afghanis¬tan than Pakistan.
Wells acknowledged that in recent months, Pakistan had detained some militants and seized assets belonging to front organizations raising funds for terrorist groups.
“While these steps are important, they are still reversible. Pakistan must sustain these measures and expand upon them, including by prosecuting terrorist leaders.”
The US official also took credit for the listing of Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammad leader, at the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee — “an achievement 10 years in the making”. She argued that this listing sent an important message that the international community would not tolerate terrorism.
Ms Wells added that; “Sustained progress on reconciliation and counter-terrorism will lie at the heart of a renewed bilateral relationship.”
“We believe in the potential of the US-Pakistan relationship to foster regional stability and economic prosperity.”
The State Department official told the congressional panel that her department’s budget request for 2020 did “not include security assistance funding for Pakistan’s military”.
(Sahar News)

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