The United States announced head money on the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders and two other suspected Pakistani militants on Thursday as Islamabad urged Washington to resume a structural dialogue between the two countries.
The US Department of Justice has placed a head money of $5 million on Mullah Fazlullah and of $3m each on Mangal Bagh and Abdul Wali, official sources told Dawn.
The media reported earlier on Thursday that US drone strikes had killed 21 TTP activists in Afghanistan, including Mullah Fazlullah’s son.
“In some areas, they do bring pressure on us, we have made clear that we will do whatever we think is in our national interests,” said Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, while explaining the outlines of recent US-Pakistan talks. “The important message that we have to give is, we will do what’s in our national interests.”
Tehmina says Washington should know Pakistan no longer has influence to bring Taliban to talks.
Ms Janjua, who is in Washington for bilateral talks, stressed the need for resuming structural dialogue between Pakistan and the United States but also reminded Washington that other countries in the region, particularly India, were bringing pressure on Pakistan. The Indian border shelling, particularly across the Line of Control, was like an undeclared war, she added.
The foreign secretary underlined Pakistan’s keen interest in promoting regional integration in South Asia, saying regional connectivity was a core part of the country’s strategy to fight extremism and terrorism.
Ms Janjua noted that in their recent statements, American officials had expressed their commitment to continuing talks with Pakistan, which creates a ground for rebuilding the ties.
The foreign secretary is scheduled to meet US Under Secretary of State John Sullivan and Deputy National Security Adviser Nadia Schadlow.
On Tuesday, US Defence Intelligence Agency said Pakistan’s efforts in the war against terrorism had some success in reducing violence from militancy and sectarianism.