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Eradicate terrorists: Rex Tillerson's strong message to Pakistan

The top US official reiterated President Donald Trump's message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country

IANS  |  Islamabad 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi, before their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad. (Photo: AP|PTI)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi, before their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad. (Photo: AP|PTI)

Secretary of State on Tuesday told that it must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and operating within the country.

Tillerson, who was in Islamabad for a few hours on his inaugural trip to as Secretary of State, met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and discussed the continued bilateral cooperation and partnership, expanding economic ties between the United States and Pakistan, and Pakistan's critical role in the region, said a Embassy press release.

The top official reiterated President Donald Trump's message that must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and operating within the country.

To address those concerns, the Secretary outlined the United States' new South Asia Strategy and the vital role that can play in working with the United States and to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region. The Secretary noted that and the United States share common interests in establishing a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, defeating ISIS in South Asia, and eliminating terrorist groups that threaten both and the United States.

In all meetings with Pakistan's leaders, the Secretary expressed appreciation for Pakistan's sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. The Secretary also expressed his gratitude to the Government of and the Pakistani Army for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity, the statement said.

Abbasi also chaired an inter-agency meeting attended by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Defence Khurram Dastigir Khan, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, ISI chief Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and other officials.

Tillerson's visit came a day after he made an unannounced visit to Kabul where he said the has made some "very specific requests" to to take action to "undermine the support that the Taliban receives and other terrorist organisations receive in Pakistan".

Talking to journalists at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan on Monday, Tillerson said that in he will discuss demands for securing Afghanistan and its conditions for continuing their relationship.

"We have made some very specific requests of in order for them to take action to undermine the support that the Taliban receives and the other terrorist organisations receive in Pakistan," he said.

"And we've said in this whole strategy this is a conditions-based approach, and so our relationship with will also be conditions-based. It will be based upon 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," he said.

"I think the has made it clear in terms of our support for Afghanistan, support for a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, charting a path to peace, prosperity, and self-reliance. It is imperative at the end that we are denying safe haven to any terrorist organizations or any extremists to any part of this - the world," he said.

He said the wants to work with regional partners to ensure that there are no threats in the region and that the strategy is a regional effort.

"So we're demanding also deny safe haven to anywhere in the region. We are working closely with in that regard as well."

--IANS

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First Published: Wed, October 25 2017. 08:39 IST
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