United States President Donald Trump on Thursday said the recovery of the Canadian-American couple from Taliban captivity by Pakistan’s was a “positive moment” for US relations with Pakistan.
The Pakistan government’s cooperation is a sign that “it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region”, Trump said in a White House statement.
Earlier, Pakistan army had announced that it had recovered “safe and sound” a family of foreign hostages — an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children — from the Taliban captivity after it received and acted on intelligence shared by the United States (US).
An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement today said the hostages included a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children. The hostages were recovered “through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistani troops and intelligence agencies.”
“They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there,” the ISPR handout read.
“US intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on October 11, 2017, through the Kurram Agency border,” ISPR said.
The recovered hostages “are being repatriated to their country of origin.”
The US president identified the couple as Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, kidnapped during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan in 2012, and said their release was a “positive moment” for US relations with Pakistan.
“Ms Coleman gave birth to the couple’s three children while they were in captivity,” Trump said, adding that “today, they are free”. “This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan.”
Trump said that the family had been held hostage by the Haqqani network, “a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban.”
“We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counter-terrorism operations,” he maintained.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US expresses “deep gratitude” to Pakistan.
Pakistan Ambassador in Washington Aizaz Chaudhury said in a tweet that Ms. Coleman‘s successful rescue operation is a testimony of results that can be achieved through cooperation and team work.