Attack on parliament is attack on democracy: US
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Condemning the suicide bombings in Kabul and Kandahar, the United States on Tuesday said the attack on parliament amounted to an attack on democracy.
“An attack on parliamentarians is frankly an attack on democracy,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.
While extending deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, he said the US stood strongly with the people of Afghanistan and remained committed to building a secure, peaceful and prosperous future for the ally.
Responding to questions, Toner said Afghanistan was still a work in progress and one could not say it was mission accomplished.
“I think it’s in the work-in-progress column and I think the president and the secretary of state have spoken frankly about the fact that we don't going to see Afghanistan slide back into what it was.
“By we, I mean not just the U.S., but the international community, NATO and its partners on the ground,” he added.
The Afghan government and people worked hard to build the capacity of the security forces and consolidate their strengths, he said. The US, he said, had worked to foster an Afghan-led peace process -- the ultimate way forward.
“We encourage that. I don't think we can possibly look at it though and say, you know, mission accomplished. We would certainly not say that. But at the same point, we're not going to encourage any kind of walking away from the situation there,” Toner observed.
The spokesman acknowledged that continuation of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan was an issue of concern for the US and its neighbouring countries.
“I think we've been very frank and very open about publicly saying to Pakistan that it needs to deny safe haven to groups that will or are intent on carrying out attacks on Afghanistan,” he said.
He explained Pakistan had taken some steps to address issue, but the problem persisted and was part of the ongoing dialogue, Toner maintained.
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