U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Pakistan to fight militant groups that pose a threat to the South Asian nation, its neighbors, and the United States.
At a news conference in Islamabad on January 13, Kerry said the battle against Islamist militants in Pakistan is a tough one and is far from over.
"Terror groups like the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e Taiba, and other groups, continue to pose a threat to Pakistan, to its neighbors, and to the United States," Kerry said.
He said that "all of us have a responsibility to ensure that these groups do not gain a foothold but rather are pushed back into the recesses of memory," adding, "The task is a difficult one and it is not done."
Kerry arrived in Pakistan on an unannounced visit on January 12.
During a meeting with Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs, Kerry said the results of Pakistan's monthslong military campaign against militants in the North Waziristan region, which borders Afghanistan, were "significant."
Kerry also praised the reopening of the school in Peshawar where Taliban gunmen on December 16 killed more than 150 people, almost all of them children, in one of the country's worst terrorist attacks.
The school reopened on January 12.
Kerry called it a "testament" to the resolve of the Pakistani people.
With reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa