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Tillerson in Pakistan to Push for More Action Against Militants

Tillerson in Pakistan to Push for More Action Against Militants

The third round of talks was held in Islamabad when an interagency U.S. delegation visited the Pakistani capital with details of the new U.S. strategy for South Asia announced by President Donald Trump on Aug 21.

"We are committed in the war against terror".

"The secretary says he's also pushing Pakistan to deny safe haven to the Taliban and other terrorist groups", NPR's Michele Kelemen, who's traveling with Tillerson, tells our Newscast unit. "And we are looking forward to moving ahead with the USA and building a tremendous relationship".

The visit was the first to nuclear-armed Pakistan by a senior Trump administration official and comes months after the US President angrily accused Islamabad of harbouring "agents of chaos" who could attack US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

U.S. and Pakistani sources say Tillerson's visit to Islamabad will be followed later in the year by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as Trump seeks to send a tough message to the wayward Cold War ally.

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India and Afghanistan share a strong relationship.

After Tillerson's meeting with Ghani on Monday, the American Embassy and Ghani's office released a statement claiming that the two men had met in Kabul.

Ghani made the request while meeting with India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, the 1TVNews reported.

But Trump's blistering speech in August accusing Pakistan of harbouring militants saw Islamabad angrily hit back at the claims, insisting the USA took no account of the thousands of lives lost and billions spent in fighting extremism. Following the visit, Tillerson called on "moderate voices among the Taliban, voices that do not want to continue to fight forever", to "engage in a reconciliation process" that could end in their involvement in government, if they abandon terrorism, reports the Washington Post.

In the wake of a string of terror attacks on Afghan security forces that have been masterminded by the Pakistan-backed Taliban, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will be undertaking a surprise one-day visit to India on Tuesday. As the New York Times reports, the red fire alarm and military-style clock indicated the meeting took place not in Kabul but at the USA military base in Bagram, more than 30 miles away.

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