Terror Groups Threatening Pak's Stability, says US Secretary of State

Rex Tillerson met the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad on Tuesday before coming to India.

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Rex Tillerson raised concern over terror groups in a joint statement with Sushma Swaraj. (Reuters)

New Delhi:  In a dramatic statement, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today said that terror groups in Pakistan are now threatening the stability and security of the government. In a joint press statement with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, Mr Tillerson said, "There are too many terror organisations that find a safe haven in Pakistan. We have explained to them certain expectations we have from Pakistan in dealing with these organisations. We also are concerned about the stability and security of the Pakistan government because these terror organisations have grown and this threatens the country's stability."

Mr Tillerson met the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad on Tuesday before coming to India. He met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Ms Swaraj this morning. Sources say the meeting with Mr Doval lasted over an hour. Much of the focus of today's talks was on US President Donald Trump's new South Asia policy which he articulated in August, which envisions a bigger role for India in Afghanistan and calls on Pakistan to do more to act against terrorists.

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In her remarks, Ms Swaraj made it clear that President Trump's policy can only succeed if Pakistan cracks down on terror groups without discrimination. "Pakistan should dismantle the terror infrastructure. President Trump's new policy will only succeed if Pakistan acts against all terror groups without any discrimination," she said. She also announced that India, the US and Afghanistan would meet later this year to discuss the Afghan issue.

Both sides also talked about a greater role for India with the US in the Indo-Pacific region. When asked by a journalist if India would shut down its North Korean mission and end trade with Pyongyang, Ms Swaraj said, "We had discussions on this. On both the things you raised, I told him as far as trade is concerned, it has already come down and is minimal. And our embassy is very small and I said some countries friendly to the US should have missions in North Korea, you should have some channels of communication open."

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