More than two months after US President Donald Trump called out Pakistan for providing “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered an unequivocal message to Pakistan to dismantle its terror infrastructure or face consequences.In Islamabad, Mr. Tillerson held extensive talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. During the talks, Tillerson said that Pakistan is “so important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship,” but it was important for Islamabad to keep its commitment on fighting terror.
Assuring his country’s continued support, Pakistani PM told Mr. Tillerson: “We have produced results. And we are looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship.” He added, “The US can rest assured that we are strategic partners in the war against terror and that today Pakistan is fighting the largest war in the world against terror.”During his unannounced stopover in Afghanistan, Mr. Tillerson had sent out a clear message to Pakistan that it needed to take a “clear-eyed-view of the situation” and that the US’s approach will be based on “whether they take action that we feel is necessary to move the process forward of both creating the opportunity for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan, but also ensuring a stable future Pakistan.”
Mr. Tillerson’s tough talk had prompted Pakistan’s senate chairman Raza Rabbani to comment that the US diplomat’s harsh message “seems like that of a viceroy’s before they visit a country.”
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