Pakistan must demonstrate its desire to collaborate with the US in its fight against terrorism, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.
In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Tillerson reiterated what the Trump administration has been saying about Pakistan for the past several months now after President Donald Trump announced his South Asia policy in August.
Trump while announcing his South Asia Policy had criticised Pakistan for not doing enough to combat terrorism.
“Pakistan must contribute by combating terrorist groups on its own soil. We are prepared to partner with Pakistan to defeat terror organisations seeking safe havens, but Pakistan must demonstrate its desire to partner with us,” Tillerson said.
“A commitment to stop Islamist terrorism and extremism also motivated the administration’s decision to adopt a new South Asia strategy, which focuses on Afghanistan. That country cannot become a safe haven for terrorists, as it was in the days before the September 11 attacks,” he wrote as he summarised up his key diplomatic accomplishments in the first year.
Defeating terrorism remains one of Trump’s highest priorities, Tillerson said.
“The administration’s aggressive strategy to counter the Islamic State delegates greater authority to American military commanders on the battlefield, giving our forces more freedom and speed to do what they do best, in partnership with indigenous fighting forces,” he asserted.
As a result, the Global Coalition to Defeat the ISIS has accelerated operations and has recaptured virtually all of previously held Islamic State territory in Iraq and Syria, he said.
“While our military was helping clear Iraq and Syria of Islamic State forces, our diplomats were following up with humanitarian aid and assistance, such as clearing land mines, restoring water and power, and getting children back in school,” Tillerson wrote.