After Visits To Pakistan And Afghanistan: Tillerson In India

During a visit to India, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed concern that extremist groups are a threat to the “stability and security” of the Pakistani government.

“This could lead to a threat to Pakistan’s own stability,” Tillerson said on 25 October after talks with the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi.

“It is not in the interest of anybody that the government of Pakistan is destabilized,” he added.

The Secretary of State also thanked Swaraj for “shoulder to shoulder” with the United States in the fight against extremism in the region.

Tillerson holds talks with Indian leaders, while the two countries are trying to deepen relations and counteract the growing influence of China.

Tillerson said last week that Washington wants to “dramatically deepen” the cooperation with Pakistan’s archrival India to promote a “free and open” region under the leadership of prosperous democracies.

He arrived in New Delhi on October 24 after visiting Islamabad at a time when the bilateral relations were fraught with US complaints about Pakistan, allegedly “safe havens” for Islamic militants.

Tillerson “reaffirmed the message from President Donald Trump that Pakistan must strengthen its efforts to eradicate fighters and terrorists in the country,” the US Embassy in Islamabad said.

Tillerson also expressed his appreciation for the “sacrifices” Pakistan has made in the fight against militancy and for the recent release of a US Canadian family captured by the Taliban for five years.

The trip came after Trump unveiled its new strategy for South Asia in August and accused Islamabad of “agents of chaos” that could attack US-led NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

This was followed by an unannounced stop on 23 October in Afghanistan where Tillerson reaffirmed America’s commitment to the country when the Western-backed government in Kabul fought to defeat insurgents after the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014.

On October 24, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met with Indian leaders in New Delhi to discuss bilateral relations, regional security, and the fight against terrorism.

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