Pakistan, US have a shared interest in combating security threats: Washington
ISLAMABAD: (Web Desk) US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said that his country has a “shared interest” with Pakistan in combating regional security threats.

 Matthew Miller stated this at a press briefing on Monday in response to a question on whether America would support Pakistan if it conducted cross-border attacks against militant targets in Afghanistan.

“So the Pakistani people have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists. We have a shared interest in combating threats to regional security,” Miller told reporters when asked whether the US would support Pakistan if it struck militant targets in Afghanistan.

He said the United States partners with a range of civilian institutions in Pakistan and regularly engages the Pakistani government to identify opportunities to build capacity and strengthen regional security.

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It is pertinent to mention the between Islamabad and Kabul escalated last month after Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif hinted Pakistan could carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan against militants. Pakistan has suffered a surge in militant attacks since the Afghan Taliban seized Kabul in August 2021 which it blames on the Pakistani Taliban or the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) outfit. Pakistan says the TTP carries out attacks against it from sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has rejected Pakistan’s allegations and in response to Asif’s statement, warned Islamabad there would be “consequences” if it decided to conduct cross-border attacks. When asked about Washington’s stance on the violent May 9, 2023 protests across Pakistan, Miller replied, “So our thoughts are the same anywhere in the world, which is we support legitimate, free expression, including the right to protest, the right to peaceful assembly, and we oppose violent actions, we oppose vandalism, looting, arson.”

He said Washington expected governments to deal with such protests “consistent with the rule of law and respect for free speech.”

A nationwide crackdown was launched against Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leaders and supporters in the aftermath of the protests, with many of them publicly parting ways with the former prime minister. Khan distanced himself from the violence, accusing Pakistan’s intelligence agencies of framing his supporters for the violence. Pakistan’s government and military have both rejected the allegations.

At least 103 people linked to the May 9 riots are currently being tried in army courts, unleashing widespread criticism from within Pakistan and rights organizations globally over the courts’ secretive nature and existence alongside a functioning civilian legal system.