US to work with Pak on effective counter-terrorism methods
Islamabad: The US is looking forward to "developing effective counter-terrorism methods" with Pakistan to address the contentious issue of drone strikes in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt, top American envoy to the country has said.
"...We look to developing a deep counter-terrorism relationship with the government of Pakistan," Richard Olson, the new American envoy to Pakistan, said.
"We think that we face a common threat from al Qaeda and other extremist organisations (and) we want to work with the government of Pakistan on developing effective counter-terrorism methods," Olson said.
He was responding to a question on a Pakistani TV talk show about Pakistan`s concerns about drone attacks, which Islamabad has described as counter-productive and a violation of international laws. The envoy did not give details.
Dozens of al Qaeda and Taliban commanders have been killed in the US drone strikes, including former Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baithullah Mehsud.
The Pakistan government has long been accused of providing tacit support to the missile strikes by the CIA-operated spy planes but it has recently begun opposing the attacks due to criticism from sections of the public.
Responding to another question about the long-standing US demand for Pakistan to launch military operations in the lawless North Waziristan region, Olson said: "Any decisions about operations in North Waziristan Agency would be entirely up to the government of Pakistan. That is a decision for Pakistan to make."
The US, he said, shares the concern of the government of Pakistan, which has made more sacrifices than any other country in the war on terror as over 40,000 people have been killed by extremism.
After a "difficult year in 2011" in bilateral relations, there have been "significant improvements" in Pakistan-US ties, including the reopening of supply routes to Afghanistan earlier this year following a US apology for the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border NATO air strike last year, Olson said.
He said there was a desire on both sides "to get the relationship on a more stable footing, identify areas where we have mutual interests and identify common interests and move forward".
Asked about Pakistan`s concerns about Afghanistan-based Pakistani Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah, who had ordered the recent attack on teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, Olson said US and ISAF troops would take action against him "if we can develop actionable intelligence".
"It`s a challenge because (the) presence of coalition forces (in that part of Afghanistan) is fairly thin but the fact of the matter is if we are able to develop actionable intelligence, we will take action," he said.
Fazlullah escaped to Kunar province of Afghanistan with hundreds of his fighters after Pakistani troops launched an operation against him in Swat Valley in 2009.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened