`No change in Af-Pak policy post Osama`

The US said that it would continue to seek Pak’s support in its war against terror.

Updated: May 03, 2011, 19:46 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Ending speculations on whether or not the US administration will change its Af-Pak policy and act tough against Islamabad for providing safe heavens to terrorists, the US Tuesday said that it would continue to seek Pakistan’s support in its war against terror.

Addressing a joint press conference with his counterparts from Pakistan and Afghanistan in Islamabad, Marc Grossman, US special representative for Af-Pak region said, “Al Qaeda’s founder Osama bin Laden’s killing is a shared honour for all three nations. It’s sheer achievement for all of us. The US, Pakistan and Afghanistan are committed to ending terrorism in all its form.”

The US official also rubbished reports that the Obama administration will screw the Pakistan establishment for not fulfilling its commitment on eliminating terrorism after it confirmed that Osama bin laden was hiding in Pakistan for a long period.

“I would like to clear the speculation over bilateral ties by saying that extremism is not going to affect our ties in any ways. The United States sees a very active, constructive and positive role of Pakistan in Afghanistan. We are optimistic that we will continue to get full cooperation from our friends in Pakistan in our mission to end terrorism,” Grossman said.

However, the US officials skipped critical questions related to ongoing US offensive in terror-affected regions in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir added: “This is a good beginning. Terrorism has no faith, no religion; hence the Pakistan government remains committed in fighting extremism in all its form.”

When asked to elaborate on how US Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden and whether the Islamabad had any clue about it, Bashir said, “There is no need to look into the forensic details as to who did what. We need to look at the future. It is more important for us to focus on the future. All three states are committed to extend full cooperation aimed at bringing peace and stability in the region.”

However, he did mention that the continued US Drone attacks in Pakistan’s border region, was an issue and that is being discussed at the right forum.

Afghan foreign secretary also expressed optimism that his country will continue to get unconditional support of the US and neighbouring Pakistan.

The joint press conference came at a time, when several top Obama Administration
officials were quick to point out that co-operation from Pakistan on counter-terrorism is not forthcoming as it is expected.

Deputy National Security Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan told reporters at a crowded White House news conference here that there had been a number of differences with Pakistan on counter-terrorism issues.

Importantly, a powerful American Senator also demanded the suspension of USD 3 billion aid to Pakistan, until the country answers how Osama bin Laden was able to live so close
to Islamabad and proves that it stands by the US in war against terror.