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US reiterates support for Pakistan's right to self-defence against banned TTP

Washington: The US on Wednesday reiterated its support for Pakistan's right to self-defence against the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Responding to a question that the US basically wants Pakistan to take some action against the terrorist hideouts on the border, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said, "Pakistan has every right to defend itself. This is ultimately, in some cases, a shared threat to the region, and it's one we take very seriously, as do our Pakistani partners, of course." "Pakistan will do what's in its self-interest, and it will take action when it deems appropriate based on the inherent right of self-defence," he added.
The statement came in response to a question related to the terrorist hideouts in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan has witnessed a sharp rise in terror incidents, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, during the past couple of months after TTP put the truce with Islamabad to an end.
On Pakistan planning a massive operation against TTP, their hideouts in Pak-Afghan border areas and the kind of assistance the United States can offer to help Pakistan in that kind of operation, Price said, "The United States and Pakistan do indeed have a shared interest in ensuring that the Taliban live up to the commitments and that terrorist groups like ISIS-K, like the TTP, like Al-Qaida are no longer able to threaten regional security. But for questions regarding their plans, I would need to refer you to Pakistani authorities."
Notably, Washington has approved the foreign military sale of the F-16s for sustainment and related equipment worth USD 450 million to Pakistan.
According to some media reports, it will be used in a strike against cross-border terrorism along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The TTP has threatened the top Pakistani political leadership, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
"We condemn any threat of violence from any group, but certainly a threat of violence like this from a terrorist group like the TTP," said Price.
He said that terrorism remains a scourge that has taken, as I said before, so many Pakistani, Afghans, and other innocent lives.
The spokesperson said that the presence of militants has been an "enduring challenge" for the US and NATO.
Talking about Pakistan saying the same thing for 20 years, he said, "It's been an enduring challenge for the United States, for NATO, but certainly for Afghanistan's neighbours, who have often most frequently been the victims of attacks that have emanated from Afghanistan. Pakistan is a close partner, a close security partner. We work closely together to do what is appropriate to confront shared and mutual threats as well as shared opportunities, but I'm not going to speak to any plans or operations that the Pakistanis may be taking or contemplating. "
When the US was there and more than a hundred thousand NATO troops were there, Pakistan had the same concerns that these terrorists across the border conduct terrorist activities and then go back.
On the issue of both sides of the border region, there is mostly Pashtun population, which could lead to a severe warlike condition between this ethnicity as well, he said, "I am just not going to weigh in on a hypothetical. Of course, too many Pakistanis have - the lives of too many Pakistanis have been taken as a result of cross-border violence. The terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan has in the past not only presented a threat to Pakistan but to the region and, in some cases, as we know all too well, well beyond. So these are questions for the Pakistani government." (ANI)

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