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Friday, July 19, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Pakistan has right to defend itself from terrorism: US

State Department spokesperson says US will respond to Afghan Taliban’s inability to fulfil commitments
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks during a news conference in Washington, US on March 10, 2022. Reuters
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks during a news conference in Washington, US on March 10, 2022. Reuters

Pakistan has a right to defend itself from terrorism, the United States administration said while reacting to the National Security Committee’s (NSC) decision to have zero tolerance for terrorism and take crucial steps to curb rising unrest in the country.

“When it comes to your first question, or your second question, on Pakistan, we’re aware of the recent statement by the Pakistani NSC,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in response to a question during a weekly press briefing on Tuesday.

“The Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks.”

The committee in its second round of meetings, after a fresh wave of terrorism, on January 2 reaffirmed its determination to take on any and all entities that resort to violence. “Pakistan’s security is uncompromisable and the full writ of the state will be maintained on every inch of Pakistan’s territory,” said the press release from Prime Minister’s Office.

Next action

When asked about the next action of US and Europe after the Taliban’s stance against human rights, he said that they were discussing those very specific consequences both internally and with allies and partners.

“We have said repeatedly that there will be a response from the United States. We’re going to continue to coordinate closely. We’ll share additional details on that when we have.”

He went on to add that the Taliban have broken all the commitments it made with the international community and the Afghan people.

The interim government has imposed a ban on women working in Afghanistan’s aid sector, the latest blow against women’s rights in the country after the group barred women from attending universities earlier this month.

He went on to add that the Taliban’s edict puts at risk millions of Afghans who depend on humanitarian assistance for their very survival. The US administration has called on the Taliban to urgently reverse this harmful decision.

“We know that women are central to humanitarian operations around the world. In Afghanistan in particular, only women have been able until now, at least, to reach some of the most vulnerable people inside Afghanistan. Women must work at NGOs.”

This ban was already significantly impeding humanitarian actors’ ability to deliver vital and lifesaving assistance to millions, and it’s actually forced some organizations to pause their operations, he added.

The State Department’s spokesperson added that the administration was assessing the impact on this edict. “We’re discussing options that will allow us to maintain a strong, principled position as the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan while also doing what we can to prevent the humanitarian situation from deteriorating even further as a result of the difficult operating environment the Taliban have themselves created.”

Moreover, the administration in coordination with allies and partners was looking at what specific consequences could be levied against the Taliban to register condemnation.

“As long as the Taliban is not able to fulfill these commitments, we will respond in a way that registers our strong condemnation while continuing to support the Afghan people. And we’re going to be very careful not to do anything that could further imperil the humanitarian well-being of the Afghan people.”

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