US concerned by TTP threat to Pakistan’s security: Top US General

ISLAMABAD: A top US military commander has said the United States is concerned by the threat posed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to the south Asian country’s security amid the surge in violence perpetrated by the outlawed group in the country.
“We value our bilateral relationship and welcome opportunities to expand our cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as counterterrorism and border security,” Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Michael E Kurilla was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.
General Kurilla made these remarks in response to a question about the possibility of the US extending support to Pakistan in dealing with the terror threat.
This comment comes on the backdrop of the CENTCOM commander’s visit to Pakistan this month where he met with senior military leaders, and observe conditions and operations along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border vicinity of the Khyber Pass.
During his visit, the leaders discussed security cooperation, security along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the threat posed by terror groups in the region, ongoing operations, and opportunities to increase cooperation between CENTCOM and the Pakistan Army.
During the visit, General Kurilla traveled to Peshawar to visit the XI Corps headquarters. The XI Corps is the Pakistani Army unit assigned to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, with security responsibility for approximately half the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
According to a CENTCOM press statement, General Kurilla and XI Corps leaders traveled by helicopter to visit the Big Ben post overlooking the Khyber Pass. There, they observed border security and discussed the cross-border threat of terror groups operating in Afghanistan.
The statement added that the visit provided General Kurilla valuable insight into multiple aspects of the Pakistan Armed Forces, the threats faced by Pakistan, and, most importantly, the opportunities ahead to strengthen the military-to-military relationship.
“Pakistan and the US have longstanding defense ties dating back 75 years,” Kurilla said. “We remain committed to combating shared threats to regional security. CENTCOM views the US-Pakistan relationship through its own bilateral merits and potential to improve regional stability. We are committed to strengthening the military-to-military relationship.”
This was General Kurilla’s second visit to Pakistan in the last four months.

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