U.S. urges Pakistan to show support in countering militants: diplomat


WASHINGTON, (Xinhua) — The United States expected Pakistan to take action quickly to show support in countering militants in Afghanistan and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, a senior U.S. diplomat told reporters on Friday.

Washington looked forward to seeing practical steps from Pakistan in the next few “weeks and months,” Alice Wells, the acting assistant secretary for South Asia in the U.S. State Department, has been quoted as saying by local media.

Wells accompanied U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on a week-long tour in the Middle East and South Asia including stops at Pakistan and India.

“The secretary stressed the importance of Pakistan moving quickly to demonstrate good faith and efforts to use its influence to create the conditions that will get the Taliban to the negotiating table,” said Wells.

Earlier this week, ahead of his a few hours’ stopover in Pakistan, Tillerson said in Afghanistan that the Trump’s administration will pursue “conditions-based” relations with Pakistan, a statement that has been widely criticized in Pakistan.

The South Asian country’s Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani dismissed the statement as “unacceptable,” saying that the Tillerson had acted like a “viceroy.”

U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations have been shaky in recent years over counterterrorism. In an August address, Trump lashed out at Islamabad, accusing it of providing safe haven to “agents of chaos.”

Trump’s words received widespread criticism in Pakistan as a vast majority in the country believes the U.S. president ignored Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror which claimed the lives of nearly 73,000 people.