Washington, Jan 6(ANI): The United States' commitment to help Pakistan "root out violent extremism" will not waver following Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's assassination, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said.
On Tuesday, Taseer was assassinated by Qadri, one of his own elite security force protectors, who opened fire on him because of the governor's support for the release of Pakistani-Christian woman Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges.
The White House expressed its condolences on Taseer's death, with Gibbs saying: "This is an individual who had worked hard to promote tolerance, and his loss is a great one for Pakistan."
"Secretary Clinton met with the Pakistani ambassador yesterday to personally pass along the President's condolences," he added.
Gibbs was responding to a question if he could put the assassination in the context of US President Barack Obama's Af-Pak review, and whether he thought it indicated anything about how successful efforts were to root out extremism, as Taseer was "regarded as the best spokesman against extremism since Benazir Bhutto".
"I would simply say... that we remain committed to the efforts that the Pakistani government is and must undertake to root out violent extremism and to bring greater peace and stability to that country and to that region of the world," Gibbs replied. (ANI)