While relations between old allies Pakistan and United States somewhat continue to be going up and down now and then, it is quite good to note that the US State Department has come out with a realistic and reassuring statement that Islamabad has taken positive steps in the right direction in the crackdown on terrorists groups and ruled out any hot pursuit of Taliban militants into Pakistan.
The US State Department spokesperson in his press briefing in Washington the other day is also reported to have said that US Vice-President Mike Pence and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during their meeting in Washington last week had discussed US South Asia strategy adding that Pakistan can play a critical role in bringing Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.
It is also quite appreciable to note that another Pentagon official while talking to a news agency has categorically said that there is no change with regards to respecting the territorial sovereignty of Pakistan, our troops present in Afghanistan would not be entering Pakistan if they see Taliban forces going across the border into Pakistan but there can be exceptions, it is not going to be normal day-to-day operational rules of engagement, US military authorities are within the borders of Afghanistan and we have no authority to go into Pakistan.
The Pentagon official has made quite a welcome and assuring statement in the context of tense Islamabad-Washington relation and as Pakistan is committed to eliminated terrorists, militants and extremists in all their manifestations from its sacred soil, it will obviously be quite ready to take on the terrorists if they enter into Pakistan from Afghanistan and US troops pass on the intelligence to their counterparts in Islamabad without any delay for prompt action being taken against them by authorities concerned on this side of Pak-Afghan border.
Lahore, March 22.