US to continue ‘regional security discussion’ with Pakistan

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DNA

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has reiterated its resolve to continue working with Pakistan on counterterrorism issues.

Addressing a press briefing in Washington, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the US has been in regular communication with Pakistani leaders on counterterrorism issues.

The spokesperson’s statement came when responding to a question about the martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers conducting operations along the Afghan border.

“We’re going to continue to discuss regional security in detail including through high level engagements, working level engagements and other extensive bilateral consultations,” he said, responding to the query.

The question was asked in the wake of the Pakistan Army’s intelligence-based operations (IBOs) conducted against terrorists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during which five brave soldiers were martyred.

At least 92% of all fatalities and 86% of attacks, including those related to terrorism and security forces operations, were recorded in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces in the first quarter of 2024.

These key findings were revealed in the Q1 2024 Security Report issued by Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), detailing that the country witnessed at least 432 violence-linked fatalities and 370 injuries among civilians, security personnel and outlaws resulting from as many as 245 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations.

Patel also reiterated Washington’s “deep relationship” with Islamabad over a number of key areas with regards to the country’s economy and security.

“We’ll look for ways in which we can continue to deepen cooperation, particularly in the areas of the economy and security as well.”

The spokesperson’s statement came after he was questioned about the Dubai property leaks and Pakistan’s dwindling economy in the wake of Islamabad’s ongoing programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other avenues of acquiring funds for keeping financial risks at bay.

The question to Patel was posed in the wake of the Dubai property leaks that saw the names of several Pakistani businessmen and politicians on the list of people who own properties in the United Arab Emirates’ posh metropolitan.