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Pakistan took key step to do more in fight against terror: Mike Pence

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is scheduled to visit Pakistan soon, followed by a visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Reported by: PTI Washington October 14, 2017 15:32 IST
PTI

US Vice President Mike Pence has said that Pakistan has taken an "important step" in the fight against terrorism by helping secure the release of a Canadian-American family abducted by the Haqqani networks five years ago. 

American citizen Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle along with their three children were rescued from the Haqqani network on Thursday after an operation by Pakistani forces. 

The couple were kidnapped in 2012 in Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip. Their three children were born while the pair was in captivity. 

Pence's comments on Pakistan came as he listed out some of the key achievements of the Trump administration at the international stage. 

"The president is achieving real results on the international stage, as well," he said. 

"While some critics engage in empty rhetoric and baseless attacks, thanks to the president's leadership," he said, adding the ISIS is on the run, North Korea is isolated as never before, and US' NATO allies are doing more to pay their fair share for our common defence. 

"Just this week, Pakistan took an important step to answer the President's call to do more in fight against terrorism, as they helped secure the release of an American family that had been held hostage for more than five years," Pence said. 

US President Donald Trump had slammed Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so. 

Meanwhile, Canada welcomed the release of the family. "Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones," said Global Affairs Canada, a department in the Canadian government that manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations. 

"Canada has been actively engaged on Boyle's case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that they have returned," it said in a statement. 

However, some of the well-known counter terrorism experts appeared to be sceptical of Pakistan's move given its past history. 

"Pakistan's aid in release of hostages is a classic Pakistani move. Pakistan has a history of making high-profile arrests before big meetings," said Bill Roggio, editor of Lon War Journal. 

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is scheduled to visit Pakistan soon, followed by a visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.