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Pak PM Abbasi assures Tillerson of co-operation in war against terrorism

Tillerson arrived here on a whirlwind visit to reset bilateral ties strained after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorist groups

Press Trust of India  |  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)

Under pressure to dismantle terror safe havens in Pakistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday assured US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that his country is committed to the war against

Tillerson arrived here on a whirlwind visit to reset bilateral ties strained after President Donald Trump accused of providing safe havens to terrorist groups.


"The US can rest assured that we are strategic partners in the war against terror and that today, is fighting the largest war in the world against terror," Abbasi told Tillerson just before their closed-door talks began.

Abbasi said is "committed in the war against terror."

He said has produced "results" in its war against and it was looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship.

Tillerson's maiden visit to comes days after he made a major policy speech on America's growing strategic relations with and Trump's move to offer a bigger say to in war-torn Afghanistan.

Ahead of his visit to India, Tillerson during a surprise visit to Afghnaistan indicated that he will firmly tell to stop providing safe havens to terror groups on its soil to improve bilateral ties.

"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 had told reporters travelling with him at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.

needed to "take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organisations that find safe haven inside the country," he had said.

Tillerson is visiting on the invitation of Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

During his four-hour stay here, he also met Asif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Tillerson's visit to marks the first by a senior member of the Trump administration.

Tillerson's visit is significant as it could clarify Trump's policy and set a course for future Islamabad- Washington relations.

In August, Trump had unveiled his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in which he had hit out at for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.

regularly denies that it hosts terror groups fighting the US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

Trump's criticism led to further strain in US-relations with a peeved saying the president ignored its efforts in the war against

But bilateral relations improved slightly after a meeting between Prime Minister Abbasi and Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month.

Ties also improved after Pakistani troops rescued an American-Canadian family from militants who had held them captive for over five years.

There was another step forward when the Quadrilateral Coordination Group of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and the US held its meeting last week in Oman after a hiatus of over a year to help start peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

The US also met a major demand of for action against militants operating against it from Afghanistan when a drone strike killed the chief of Jamaatul Ahrar Umar Khalid Khurasani last week.

The top militant was involved in several terrorist attacks in including the Peshawar school attack in 2014 that killed 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

In Pakistan, officials said they are wary of demands by the US without taking into consideration Pakistani concerns about the increasing role of in Afghanistan.

First Published: Tue, October 24 2017. 21:54 IST
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