US defense chief announces to develop military ties with Pakistan
WASHINGTON – The nominated Defense Chief, General Lloyd J. Austin on Tuesday said it expects to resume military ties with Pakistan.
General Austin termed Pakistan as an essential ‘partner’ in the peace process in Afghanistan and he also underscored the need for military cooperation between the two countries.
If confirmed, I will encourage a regional approach that gathers support from neighbors like Pakistan, while also deterring regional actors, from serving as spoilers to the Afghanistan peace process, he added.
The General also lauds Pakistan's role in the regional peace process. Adding that he understands Pakistan has taken constructive steps to meet US requests in support of the Afghanistan peace process.
Pakistan has also taken steps against anti-Indian groups, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, although this progress needs to be completed, he added.
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He also acknowledged that “many factors in addition to the security assistance suspension may impact Pakistan’s cooperation, including Afghanistan negotiations and the dangerous escalation following the Pulwama terrorist attack.”
Earlier on December 7, 2020, President-elect Joe Biden chose retired General Austin, who oversaw U.S. forces in the Gulf region under President Barack Obama, to be his defense secretary.
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