U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday praised the Pakistani military’s operation against militants in the country’s northwest, saying the results are “significant.”
Mr. Kerry’s comments came during a meeting in Islamabad with Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistani prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs.
Pakistan launched a major military operation in the North Waziristan region in June to clear the area of militants. The U.S. had long advocated for such an operation because the region had become a hub for militant groups who attack targets in both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
The current operations “in the northwest have disrupted militant activities in the tribal areas and resulted in important seizures of weapons,” Mr. Kerry said. “The operation is not yet complete but already the results are significant. Pakistani soldiers and their commanders deserve enormous credit.”
Mr. Kerry also praised the reopening of the school in Peshawar where Taliban gunmen on Dec. 16 slaughtered students and teachers in one of the country’s worst terrorist attacks.
The school reopened on Monday. Mr. Kerry called it a “testament” to the resolve of the Pakistani people.
Mr. Kerry arrived in Pakistan on Monday and met with Mr. Aziz as well as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Mr. Kerry is making the case for more robust efforts against all extremist groups in the country, particularly after last month’s devastating Taliban attack on a Peshawar school that killed 150 people, most of them children.
Pakistan has boosted operations against violent extremists in recent months, notably following the Peshawar attack that stunned the nation. But U.S. officials traveling with Mr. Kerry said Washington wants to ensure that there is a “real and sustained effort” to limit the abilities of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network and Laskhar e Tayyiba, which pose direct threats to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, as well as to American interests.