The Trump administration has firmly told Pakistan that if it fails to take “decisive” actions against terror groups, the US will “adjust” its tactics and strategies to achieve the objective in a “different way”, a state department official on Friday said.
United States secretary of state Rex Tillerson has told Pakistan that it must take action against terrorist groups and dismantle their safe havens on its soil, state department spokesperson Heather Nauert told PTI, a day after Mr Tillerson concluded his maiden trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. “We have communicated our expectations to Pakistan numerous times that they must take decisive action against terrorist groups based within their own borders,” Ms Nauert said.
At a news conference in Geneva, his last stop on the current foreign travel, Mr Tillerson said that the US had “a very healthy exchange of information on terrorists, which is what we really hope to achieve with Pakistan.”
Mr Tillerson said that the message to Pakistan was: “Here’s what we need for Pakistan to do. We’re asking you to do this; we’re not demanding anything. You’re a sovereign country. You’ll decide what you want to do, but understand this is what we think is necessary. And if you don’t want to do that, don’t feel you can do it, we’ll adjust our tactics and our strategies to achieve the same objective a different way.”
Mr Tillerson said that he would not characterise his direct discussions with the Pakistani leadership as lecturing at all. “It was a very good and open exchange. In fact, we probably listened 80% of the time and we talked 20%. And it was important to me, because I have not engaged with Pakistani leadership previously. And, so my objective was to listen a lot, to hear their perspective,” he said.