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Despite the Afghan war being over for two years, the United States and Pakistan are still cooperating on counter-terrorism.

In March, the United States and Pakistan held high-level talks prompted by a growing wave of terrorism. Due to economic and political uncertainty in Pakistan, terror groups have taken advantage of the turmoil. The current upsurge in terrorism is due to Afghanistan being a failed state. Due to this uncertainty, there is a real need for cooperation between Islamabad and Washington.

On March 8, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price addressed a briefing at the U.S. State Department. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between the U.S. and Pakistan in anti-terrorism efforts. The two countries’ dialogue reflects their commitment to fighting terrorism and strengthening international and regional security. According to Price, terrorism is a global problem that must be addressed with cooperation.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have been strained in recent years, particularly in the wake of the Afghan war. Pakistan has been accused of supporting extremist groups that targeted U.S. and coalition forces during the war. Conversely, Pakistan has lost more than 80,000 lives over the past two decades, which is undoubtedly a high price to pay.

The recent attack on the Peshawar mosque by a suicide bomber and similar incidents demonstrate that terrorists have a safe haven in Afghanistan. The Afghan government has been ineffective in dealing with terror elements within its borders, to the detriment of Pakistan.

Since the Taliban took power, the number of terror attacks has risen significantly. The most dangerous place is the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. There have been attacks targeting Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, even though violence has decreased in Punjab and Sindh provinces, which are far from Afghanistan.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Balochistan Liberation Army, and the Islamic State – Khorasan Province have stepped up attacks targeting Pakistan. The political turmoil in Pakistan and Afghanistan gives these groups a safe haven to plan and launch attacks.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan need to engage in an honest dialogue to address the terror elements undermining both countries. Importantly, the Taliban needs to focus its energies on addressing threats to its country and Pakistan versus expanding energy and resources punishing Afghan women through draconian and medieval policies.

Pakistan-U.S. anti-terrorism cooperation has been critical to the global war on terror. While the relationship between the two countries has been complex and fraught with challenges, both nations have done their best to counter terrorism and maintain regional stability.

However, the relationship between the two countries has been strained, with allegations of Pakistan’s support for Al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network. These tensions came to a head in 2011 when U.S. forces conducted a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Despite these challenges, both countries have continued cooperating. In recent years, Pakistan has taken steps to crack down on militant groups within its borders, including the arrest of several high-profile militant leaders.

Looking ahead, it is likely that Pakistan-U.S. anti-terrorism cooperation will continue to evolve in response to changing global security threats. Both countries face a common threat from terrorist groups, and continued cooperation is essential for maintaining regional stability and preventing the spread of extremism.

Effective counterterrorism efforts rely on accurate and timely intelligence, which can be achieved through improved intelligence sharing. Tightening security measures can prevent the movement of terrorists and their weapons across borders. Building strong partnerships can ensure that resources are allocated effectively, and efforts are coordinated for maximum impact.

Abdul Mussawer Safi is an author at various platforms such as Modern Diplomacy, Kashmir Watch, and Eurasia Review. He is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from National Defense University. He has a profound interest in world politics, especially in the regional dynamics of South Asia. His academic strengths are critical and SWOT analysis.