Washington (Web Desk): The United States (US) has offered unconditional support to Pakistan in its battle against the terrorist outfits including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
While responding a question in a press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that they were fully aware of the hostage situation at a counterterrorism center in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bannu district.
"We’ve been closely following reports that militants have seized control of the counterterrorism centre in Bannu. We offer our deepest sympathies to those injured,” the spokesperson said and urged those responsible for the attack to cease all acts of violence, to safely release those who remain hostage, and to end the seizure of the counterterrorism centre."
"The Government of Pakistan is a partner when it comes to these shared challenges, including the challenge of terrorist groups, terrorist groups inside of Afghanistan, terrorist groups along the Afghan-Pakistan border," Ned Price.
"We stand ready to assist, whether with this unfolding situation or more broadly," the State Department spokesperson said.
The situation at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in the Bannu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa remained tense on Tuesday as talks to resolve the stand-off with militants who were holding several security personnel hostage yielded no results.
Security forces have surrounded the highly fortified cantonment area that houses the interrogation centre in the town, where around 20 fighters from Tehreek-e- TTP are holed up after seizing control of the facility.
Meanwhile, police and security agencies cordoned off the area and asked residents to stay indoors.
Responding to another question about the recent heated exchange between India and Pakistan, the Ned Price said that the US maintained its partnerships with both countries and stressed that "these relationships stand on their own; it is not zero-sum".
“We have a global strategic partnership with India. I have just spoken to the depth of our partnership with Pakistan. The two relationships stand on their own. It’s not a zero-sum relationship.”
"US sees the importance – the indispensability really – of maintaining valuable partnerships with both its Indian and our Pakistani friends," he added.
The spokesperson also stated that these relationships remained "multifaceted" such that while the US pursues a deepening of its "global strategic partnership" with India it also remains in a position to be "candid and frank".
"Where we have disagreements or concerns, we voice those just as we would with our Pakistani friends as well," the spokesperson said.