Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday said that Pakistan and the United States will initiate talks in March to explore possibilities to jointly combat terrorism, according to sources.
During his one-day visit to Washington, Foreign Minister Bilawal met with high-ranking American diplomats, who assured him that the U.S. will stand with Pakistan in fighting terrorism for the safety of all.
US State Department’s counselor Derek Chollet offered his deep condolences to the Pakistani Foreign Minister on the recent bombing in Peshawar, claiming the lives of hundreds of people. He also discussed Pakistan’s economic challenges with the flood recovery with Mr. Bilawal.
“The discussion was focused on ways to combat terrorism and flood recovery from the last summer, which has had devastating effects on the lives of the ordinary people,” Foreign Minister said.
Furthermore, Mr. Bilawal appreciated the United States’ bilateral assistance and its support in encouraging other donors and countries to help Pakistan with its rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts following last summer’s flash floods.
Last month, Pakistan and United Nations co-hosted a one-day conference in Geneva where Pakistan sought international support for its rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. Pakistan raised about $9 billion at the conference, at least a billion more than it had expected. It is believed that the United States helped Pakistan in achieving this fund.
This comes as Bilawal visited Moscow last week and discussed the “terrorism issue” with Russian officials as well. “Terrorism is not only an issue for Pakistan, but it is a global threat, which needs a collective approach,” Bilawal said.
To combat the growing threats of terrorism, Pakistan and the United States will hold a “counter-terrorism conference” in March in Pakistan. “International coordination is required to eradicate terrorism from Pakistan and the region,” he further added.
Since the outlawed Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) officially ended its months-long ceasefire with the Pakistani government in November, the militant groups have increased their brutal attacks, resulting in the death of hundreds of innocent civilians across Pakistan.