US Backs Pakistan's Operation Azm-e-Istehkam

US Backs Pakistan’s Operation Azm-e-Istehkam

The United States has officially voiced its support for Pakistan’s latest counterterrorism initiative, Operation Azm-e-Istehkam, highlighting the ongoing collaboration between the two nations in combating regional security threats. This development underscores the complex landscape of international counterterrorism efforts and the evolving strategies employed to address extremism.

Operation Azm-e-Istehkam, recently approved by Pakistan’s Apex Committee of National Action Plan (NAP), represents a comprehensive approach to eliminating terrorism and extremism across the country. The initiative aims to integrate and synergize multiple lines of effort, demonstrating Pakistan’s commitment to decisively addressing these persistent challenges.

United States Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized the shared interest between Washington and Islamabad in regional security. “The Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks. No country should have to suffer such acts of terror,” Miller stated during a press briefing. This acknowledgment of Pakistan’s struggles with terrorism reinforces the importance of international cooperation in addressing global security concerns.

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Key aspects of US support for Pakistan

  1. Funding robust counterterrorism capacity-building programs
  2. Supporting a series of US-Pakistan military-to-military engagements
  3. Maintaining a high-level counterterrorism dialogue

Operation Azm-e-Istehkam’s multifaceted approach includes intensifying efforts in the politico-diplomatic domain to curtail terrorists’ operational space through regional cooperation. This strategy aligns with broader international efforts to combat terrorism through diplomatic channels and cross-border collaboration.

While expressing support for Pakistan’s counterterrorism initiatives, the US also addressed recent incidents of mob violence related to blasphemy allegations in Pakistan. Miller stated, “We are extremely concerned by those reports. Violence or the threat of violence against another person is never an acceptable form of expression.” The US opposes blasphemy laws globally, including in Pakistan, citing their potential to jeopardize human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This balanced approach by the US, supporting counterterrorism efforts while also addressing human rights concerns, reflects the complex nature of international relations and security cooperation. It highlights the ongoing challenges in balancing security measures with the protection of civil liberties and human rights.

As Operation Azm-e-Istehkam unfolds, its effectiveness and impact on regional security will be closely watched by international observers. The initiative’s success could provide valuable insights into combating extremism and terrorism in other parts of the world, potentially influencing global counterterrorism strategies.

The US support for this operation reaffirms the enduring partnership between the United States and Pakistan in addressing shared security challenges, while also emphasizing the importance of upholding human rights and the rule of law in counterterrorism efforts.

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