Pakistan pursuing zero-tolerance on terror: Pakistan foreign minister Asif to Tillerson
Ahead of foreign minister Asif's meeting with Tillerson, US defense secretary James Mattis had said US was prepared to give "Pakistan one more try". Photograph: (Reuters)
Just hours after US defense secretary James Mattis said the US was prepared to give Pakistan one more try, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson met Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif today.
During the meeting, Pakistan foreign minister informed Tillerson that Islamabad pursued "zero-tolerance and indiscriminate approach" in its campaign against "all terrorist and militant groups", Pakistan daily newspaper Dawn reported.
"In contrast to other countries, the incidences of terrorism in Pakistan has seen a marked decline - with a salutary impact on economic and commercial activity," Dawn quoted Asif as he spoke to the US secretary of state.
"This was made possible because Pakistan has pursued a zero-tolerance and indiscriminate approach in its campaign against all terrorist and militant groups," he said.
After the meeting, Tillerson said Pakistan was critical to the stability of South Asia.
"We're going to be working very hard at all levels from the State Department, to the Defense Department, to our intelligence communities, as well as economic, commerce opportunities," Tillerson said.
The US has been putting pressure on Pakistan to control militant groups in its area especially after President Trump unveiled his Afganistan strategy last month asserting "Pakistan could no longer be silent on safe havens" in its country.
Ahead of foreign minister Asif's meeting with Tillerson, US defense secretary James Mattis had said US was prepared to give "Pakistan one more try" but if best efforts fail then the "US president was prepared to take whatever steps necessary".
On aid to Pakistan, the Trump administration had notified the US Congress last month that it was giving $255 million to Pakistan in military assistance only if it cracked down on terror groups.