A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on Dec. 19, 2016 shows American Caitlan Coleman (L) speaking next to her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their two sons. (Taliban/Social media via Reuters)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that the release of a North American family held by a Taliban-linked group is "a positive moment" for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
According to a statement, American citizen Caitlan Coleman, together with her husband Joshua Boyle, a Canadian citizen, and their three children, were taken captive and held hostage in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, a radical group with ties to the Taliban.
"Yesterday the United States government, working in conjunction with the Government of Pakistan, secured the release," said Trump.
He praised Pakistan's cooperation, saying it is "a sign that it is honoring America's wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region."
The U.S. president voiced his hope of seeing more of such U.S.-Pakistan cooperation "in helping secure the release of remaining hostages" and "future joint counterterrorism operations."
The couple were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman was pregnant at the time, and a video released by the Taliban in December showed their children while they were held in captivity.
U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations have been shaky in recent years over counterterrorism. In an August address, Trump lashed out at Islamabad, accusing it of providing safe haven to "agents of chaos."
He indicated that the country has to do something to assuage Washington's frustration over its counterterrorism efforts.
"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he said.