U.S. Will Stand with India Against Terrorism: Rex Tillerson in New Delhi
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj condemned Pakistan for harboring terrorists on its soil.
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is on his first visit to India, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Oct. 25. Swaraj and Tillerson reiterated their joint stance against a terrorism-free Pakistan, calling on the country to take action against safe havens given to terrorists on their soil.
“We believe President Trump’s new policy can be successful only when Pakistan indiscriminately acts against all terror groups,” Swaraj said at a joint press conference held with Tillerson in New Delhi.
The American leader called India an emerging leader, and said, “India is a natural partner in our fight against terrorism”.
“In my discussions in Islamabad, we were frank to conclude that there are too many terrorist outfits that find a safe haven in Pakistan. We are putting in place a mechanism to deny these outfits the ability to launch attacks on other countries.”
“We want to work with Pakistan in a positive way as we think this is in their interest in the long run,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson flew to India after a Pakistan visit, where too he had been clear about the stand of United States against terrorism. He had criticized China as a threat to the world order as well. The United States has embraced India, inviting it to have a greater role in Afghanistan and commending India for its role in the troubled country’s development, including constructing the country’s Parliament building.
— Indian Diplomacy (@IndianDiplomacy) October 25, 2017
Before embarking for the South Asia tour, Tillerson had set the tone of the visit when he wished people Happy Diwali during a press conference in Washington. According to Swaraj, the relationship between India and the United States has improved since Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Donald Trump.
In August 2017, Trump and Modi had discussed peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region during a phone conversation on India’s Independence Day. “The leaders resolved to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new two-by-two ministerial dialogue that will elevate their strategic consultations,” the White House had said at the time.
Trump’s Afghanistan policy had angered and shocked Pakistan since the world’s oldest democracy took a hardline stance. The United States has decided that its troops will be in Afghanistan indefinitely. Afghanistan has faced multiple attacks in the recent past, leading to the death of hundreds of people. One of the biggest attacks was in May 2017, when 90 people were killed and 460 injured near the German Embassy in Kabul.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations…. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change,” Trump had said in a speech in August. “It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order and to peace.”