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US worried about Pakistan government’s stability: Tillerson

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NEW DELHI: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday the United States was concerned that extremist groups pose a threat to the “stability and security” of the Pakistan government.

Tillerson, who arrived in New Delhi late Tuesday after a frosty reception in Islamabad, said the US was worried that too many extremist groups were finding safe havens inside Pakistan from which to launch attacks on other nations.

“Quite frankly my view — and I expressed this to the leadership of Pakistan — is we also are concerned about the stability and security of Pakistan’s government as well,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

“This could lead to a threat to Pakistan’s own stability. It is not in anyone’s interests that the government of Pakistan be destabilised.”

Tillerson’s visit to Pakistan came months after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of harbouring “agents of chaos” who could attack US-led NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Tillerson’s warning followed an unannounced stop in Afghanistan Monday, where he reiterated US commitment to the country and warned that Washington has made “very specific requests” of Pakistan over militancy.

India and the US ask Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructure

In a blunt message, India and the United States on Wednesday asked Pakistan to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure operating from its soil, asserting that terror havens inside that country would not be tolerated.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after holding wide-ranging talks here, said Islamabad needed to take concrete action against terror groups to ensure peace and security in the region, particularly in Afghanistan.

Tillerson said he had asked the Pakistani leadership to take action against terror groups and said an enhancement in their capabilities may pose a threat to the government in Islamabad.

“Terror havens will not be tolerated,” Tillerson said at a joint press conference here with Swaraj.

Swaraj, on her part, said Pakistan must dismantle the terror infrastructure, insisting that any country backing terror groups must be held accountable.

A host of issues, including ways to further boost defence and security cooperation and ramp up trade ties, were discussed by Swaraj and Tillerson.

The US Secretary of State said the Trump administration was ready to share its best technology for India’s military modernisation, adding that it looked forward to discussing deals for F16 and F18 fighter jets with New Delhi.

He said India was crucial to US-Afghanistan strategy and his government was looking at strengthening cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific region.

Swaraj said she raised the issue of H-1B visa with him and requested Tillerson not to take action that might adversely affect Indians.

Updated: October 25, 2017 — 5:55 pm

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