WASHINGTON - Following talks with the Pakistani foreign minister US defense secretary said the new strategy on South Asia was also about Pakistan’s stability.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday night said the United States has a reliable partner in Pakistan and that the Trump administration would work "at all levels" to ensure efforts to strengthen its relationship with Islamabad.
Following talks at the State Department with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Tillerson was asked whether Washington has a "reliable partner" in Pakistan, Reuters reported.
"Yes, I believe we do," Tillerson said. He added that Pakistan was critical to the stability of South Asia and that the Trump administration sees an opportunity to strengthen relations.
He said the new war strategy was not just about Afghanistan. “This is about the importance of Pakistan and Pakistan's long-term stability, as well. We have concerns about the future of Pakistan's government, too. In terms of them--, we want their government to be stable. We want it to be peaceful. And, many of the same issues they're struggling with inside of Pakistan are our issues.”
He added: “So, we think there is opportunity to strengthen that relationship. 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, as well.
“So, it really is an regional approach and Pakistan, I think, is critical to the long-term stability of the region,” he said.
"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.