Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Pakistan was committed to the “war on terror.”
In a meeting with US Secretary of State in Islamabad, Abbasi said Pakistan had “produced results” that it is fighting the militants in the region.
Pak-US relations have frayed in recent years, with Washington accusing Islamabad of turning a blind eye or helping Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network militants who stage attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies doing so.
President Donald Trump has vowed to get tough with Pakistan unless it changed its behaviour, with US officials threatening further reductions in aid and mooting targeted sanctions against Pakistani officials.
Tillerson, on a tour of Asia and the Middle East, arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday afternoon and met with Abbasi, as well as Pakistan’s powerful army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“We are committed in the war against terror,” Abbasi told Tillerson, as the two men sat facing each other.
“We have produced results. And we are looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship,” added Abbasi, who sat next to General Bajwa.
During a short part of the meeting available to media, Tillerson told the Pakistani delegation that the nuclear-armed nation was an important US ally in the region.
“(Pakistan is) important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship as well,” Tillerson said.
As well as support for the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, another sticking point in the relationship has been growing closeness by the United States to India, Pakistan’s arch-foe and neighbour.
Tillerson said last week that the Trump administration wanted to “dramatically deepen” cooperation with New Delhi, partly to offset Chinese influence in Asia. Trump has also called for greater Indian role in Afghanistan.
But this deepening in ties has alarmed Pakistan, which has rejected a greater political role for India for Afghanistan as a “red line” for Islamabad.
An official statement said the meeting discussed matters of bilateral interest; cooperation in different sectors and regional situation.
Earlier on the arrival of the US Secretary of State, Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif welcomed him.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter-Services Intelligence chief Naveed Mukhtar, secretary to PM Mussadiq Malik, foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua and other officials were present in the meeting.