US expects Islamabad to take quick action to show support in countering militants in Afghanistan and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, a senior American diplomat has said.
US expects Islamabad to take quick action to show support in countering militants in Afghanistan and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, a senior American diplomat has said. The US looked forward to seeing practical steps from Pakistan in the next few “weeks and months”, Alice Wells, the acting Assistant Secretary for South Asia in the US State Department, told reporters on Friday.
Wells accompanied US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on a week-long tour in the Middle East and South Asia including stops in Pakistan and India, Xinhua news agency reported. “The Secretary stressed the importance of Pakistan moving quickly to demonstrate good faith and efforts to use its influence to create the conditions that will get the Taliban to the negotiating table,” said Wells.
Earlier this week, ahead of his stopover in Pakistan, Tillerson said in Afghanistan that the Trump’s administration will pursue “conditions-based” relations with Pakistan, a statement that was widely criticised by Islamabad.
Pakistan’s Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani dismissed the statement as “unacceptable”, saying that Tillerson was acting like a “Viceroy”. US-Pakistan bilateral relations have been strained over counterterrorism measures. In an August address, US President Donald Trump had lashed out at Islamabad, accusing it of providing safe haven to “agents of chaos”.
Trump’s remarks received widespread criticism in Pakistan as a vast majority in the country believes he ignored their sacrifices in the war on terror which claimed the lives of nearly 73,000 people.