USA not thinking of cutting ties with Pakistan: State Dept
02 March, 2018
ISLAMABAD: A senior State Department official has stated that the United States was not thinking of cutting ties with Pakistan. In an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Acting State Department South and Central Asia Assistant Secretary Alice Wells said the US considered Pakistan essential to resolving the Afghan imbroglio.
Wells, also the acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said it should not be assumed that the US was considering ending bilateral ties with Islamabad. “On the contrary, we are backing Pakistan against all militant groups.”
When asked about a new strategy if ties frayed further, the US diplomat maintained that ‘Pakistan was pivotal to stability in Afghanistan’.
Shedding light on the South Asia strategy of the US, she said it was premised on understanding Pakistan’s national interests.
Earlier, a top US general also dispelled the impression that the United States and Pakistan were on a collision course, saying they valued the military-to-military relationship with Pakistan.
Gen Joseph Votel, head of the Central Command who is responsible for all US military operations in Pakistan-Afghan region, told a congressional panel that the US had preserved the valuable military-to-military relationship with Pakistan and attempted to increase transparency and communication with military leaders.
“In doing so, the US continues to press its serious concerns about Pakistan’s alleged provision of sanctuary and support to militant and terrorist groups that target US personnel and interests,” he said. “Achieving long-term stability in Afghanistan and defeating the insurgency will be difficult without Pakistan’s support and assistance,” he added.