A stable and peaceful Afghan would create a better condition for India-Pak relationship, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said even as he described India and Pakistan as an important element of achieving American objectives in the war-torn nation.
Once the objective of a “stable, peaceful Afghanistan” is achieved, a big threat is removed from Pakistan’s future stability as well, which then creates a better condition for India-Pakistan relationships, Tillerson told an audience here after delivering a major India policy at the CSIS, a top American think-tank.
“So we see it as not just one issue, but a means of stabilising the entire region. And we intend to work closely with India and with Pakistan to, we hope, ease tensions along their border as well,” he said.
“Pakistan has two very troubled borders. We’d like to help them take the tension down on both of those and secure a future stable Pakistan government which we think improves relations in the region as well,” Tillerson said.
Pakistan is an important element of addressing the Afghan challenge, he said.
“India is an important element of how we achieve the ultimate objective, which is a stable Afghanistan which no longer serves as a platform for terrorist organisations,” he said.
America’s policy, quite simply on terrorism is that it will deny terrorists the opportunity, the means, the location, the wherewithal, the financing, the ability to organise and carry out attacks against Americans at home and abroad, anywhere in the world.
“Well, clearly the threat to that policy finds its locus in many ways in Afghanistan. To the extent we can remove that as an opportunity for terrorism in Afghanistan, the greatest beneficiaries are going to be Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said.
“India’s important role is in providing development assistance to Afghanistan as they move forward to create better economic conditions that provide for the needs of a very diverse ethnic group of people in Afghanistan,” Tillerson said.
“So, it is about a commitment, a message to the Taliban and other elements that we’re not going anywhere. And so we’ll be here as long as it takes for you to change your mind and decide you want to engage with the Afghan Government in a reconciliation process and develop a form of government that does suit the needs of the culture of Afghanistan,” the Secretary of State said.