US strongly condemns Bajaur bombing

Pakistan ready to counter any threat, says FO

ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistan Wednesday said it was ready to counter any threat.

“Pakistan has the ability to defend itself against all threats, national or foreign,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch in a statement issued here. She was responding to queries about yesterday's remarks of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on the threat of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.

She said Pakistan has always remained engaged with Afghanistan to ensure that Afghan territory does not become a launching pad for terrorist acts inside Pakistani territory. Baloch said the Foreign Minister’s remarks were neither new nor extraordinary.

The spokesperson said the Foreign Minister clearly reiterated “our policy to engage with Afghanistan for it to abide by its commitments to the international community including Pakistan.”

Separately yesterday, Mathew Miller, State Department spokesperson, condemned, in the strongest terms, the Bajaur political rally attack expressing that “no country should suffer such acts of terror, which are an affront to all peaceful and democratic societies.”

The State Department spokesperson said that the US was deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained from the explosion and shared heartfelt condolences with those affected by the attack.

“The Pakistani people have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists. We believe in the resilience of Pakistan’s people and their capacity to recover from this devastating attack,” the spokesperson said. He said the US remains committed to working with Pakistan to address the shared threat posed by terrorist groups throughout the region and support Pakistan government’s efforts to combat terrorism in a manner that promotes the rule of law and the protection of human rights.

In March, the US and Pakistan held a high-level counterterrorism dialogue to discuss the shared terrorist threats facing the two countries and develop strategies to cooperate in critical areas such as border security and countering the financing of terrorism. The dialogue covered a range of topics including counterterrorism cooperation at multilateral forums, an assessment of the regional counterterrorism landscape, cyber security, countering violent extremism, civilian-military cooperation, combating terrorism financing and terrorist designations.

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