United States to Pakistan: Act against terrorists or we will

Posted October 28, 2017

U.S. officials have indicated they have more tools at their disposal if Pakistan remains defiant or in denial.

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut a sharp swath through the region this week - doubling down on charges that Pakistan is sheltering militants, warmly embracing its archrival India and sympathizing with officials in war-torn Afghanistan - some Pakistani officials have reacted with outrage and anger.

He further briefed the visiting envoy during the meeting on efforts taken by Pakistan to control cross-border attacks and asked the United States to invest in fencing the porous border from the Afghan side.

Washington has always been accusing Islamabad of providing safe havens to Haqqani network - a militant group blamed for numerous attacks on the US and Afghan forces in neighboring Afghanistan, including its capital Kabul in recent years.

Asif said Tillerson also extended cooperation for reducing tension on the eastern border so that Pakistan could focus fully on its western border.

"We want relations with the United States on equal terms". We have a huge trust deficit.

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During a short part of the meeting available to media, Tillerson told the Pakistani delegation that the nuclear-armed nation was an important USA ally in the region. "We are desperately trying, both parties Americans and Pakistanis to bridge this trust deficit". However, he added that Pakistan's side conveyed that Pakistan's influence on Afghan Taliban has been reduced which is diminishing gradually, as they have been relocated.

The U.S. embassy statement also said Tillerson expressed appreciation for Pakistan's sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, and expressed gratitude to the government of Pakistan and the Pakistani army for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity, it added.

On Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who was on an India visit, told the media that New Delhi and Washington have agreed that US President Donald Trump's new Afghanistan policy would be effective only if Pakistan takes action against terror groups on its soil.

"We emphasised again and again that their [US] assessment [about Pakistan] is wrong", he said. "There are too many terrorist organizations that find a safe place in Pakistan to conduct their operations and attacks against other countries", Tillerson said, adding the extremist groups" growing strength and capability "can lead to a threat to Pakistan's own stability".

"After the new USA policy, I visited four important countries of the region, consulting Saudi Arabia on the matter".

The spokesperson said that Tillerson during his visit to Pakistan told its leadership that America wants to work with Pakistan in a "positive way" because it is also in Islamabad's interest in long-term. "It is not in anyone's interests that the government of Pakistan be destabilised".