South Asia

Blinken affirms US commitment with Pakistan on counterterrorism

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari over phone late Monday and discussed the “shared interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.”

Blinken also affirmed Washington’s commitment to Islamabad on counterterrorism and said: “Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks and affirmed the United States’ commitment to continued partnership with Pakistan on counterterrorism.”

Bilawal and Blinken discussed the “threat from terrorism, and reaffirmed their desire to continue close cooperation for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Blinken’s call came just hours after US CENTCOM commander, Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, met Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Asim Munir in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan has seen a drastic rise in militant attacks in recent months, and blame the Taliban in Afghanistan for supporting and harboring the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In a tweet, Blinken said he had a “good call” with Zardari to discuss Pakistan’s economic recovery and shared regional concerns, including Afghanistan, and that the US supports a “productive, democratic, and prosperous partnership.”

According to the State Department, Blinken said the “economic success of Pakistan remains a top priority for the United States” and that Washington will continue “to engage with Pakistan through technical and development initiatives and through our robust trade and investment ties.”

He also welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s recent approval of a $3 bailout program to support Pakistan.