US calls for peace between Afghanistan, Pakistan

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Washington, Aug 11: The US has called for lowering of tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan and has asked leaders of both the countries to work together to combat violet extremism.

US Secretary of State John Kerry call up Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss situation on the ground in the aftermath of the series of terrorist attacks in Kabul over the last one week.

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Kerry's call has come in the wake of accusation from Ghani that terrorist safe havens continue to exit in Pakistan. "It is in the urgent interest of both countries to eliminate safe havens and to reduce the operational capacity of the Taliban on both sides of the border," said John Kirby, State Department Spokesperson.

"Now is the time for the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, to work together to achieve the shared goal of defeating violent extremists," he said as he referred to the terrorists detonating a car bomb at Kabul international airport.

Kerry and Ghani talked about the terrorist attacks, the issue of the safe havens and of the need for both countries to continue to work at this to try to eliminate those safe havens, Kirby said.

"Nobody said it was going to be easy, and while we did cite progress, that doesn't mean that anybody on either side is going to sort of let their foot off the gas on the need to continue to talk continue to try to deal with these safe havens," he said.

"These attacks, all of them, have resulted in now hundreds of casualties and at least 56 deaths, including children, demonstrate again the insurgency's complete disregard for the lives of innocent Afghans," Kirby said.

He said the people of the region have suffered far too much at the hands of terrorists and violent extremists. "The US stands by the Afghan people and remains committed to working closely with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other partners to achieve a stable, secure and prosperous region," Kirby said.

He said the goal has always been one of Afghan-led reconciliation with the Taliban and that remains America's goal and objective.

"Obviously, these attacks underscore two things: that Afghanistan remains dangerous place and that the Taliban has not renounced the use of violence as a  tactic and a terror device," he said.

"We want to see political reconciliation and a safe and prosperous and secure Afghanistan, and again, these attacks underscore that remains a challenge," he added.

PTI

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