Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Ahead of the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Pakistan today, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan had eliminated most of terrorist’s hideouts in its territory.

Addressing a seminar in Islamabad, the interior minister claimed that 99 percent sanctuaries have been destroyed in country, adding that the country was still facing unintended consequences of the US-led Afghan war against Russia.

He said that Osama Bin Laden was the production of “our allies,” adding that weaponisation and drugs penetrated in the society due to Afghan war.

The minister’s comments follow the media talk of Rex Tillerson in Afghanistan during his surprised visit on Monday in which he insisted Pakistan to take action against militants who have allegedly found shelter within its territory.

Tillerson is set to reach Islamabad today (Tuesday) where he would hold important meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Army chief and foreign minister.

He said the US has made “very specific requests of Pakistan in order for them to take action to undermine the support the Taliban receives and other terrorist organisations receive”.

“Clearly, we have to continue to fight against the Taliban, against others, in order for them to understand they will never win a military victory,” Tillerson said, adding that the US wanted to work with regional allies to ensure stability.

“This is very much a regional effort as you saw. It was rolled out in the strategy itself, demanding that others deny safe haven to terrorists anywhere in the region. We are working closely with Pakistan as well.”

“It will be based upon whether they take action that we feel is necessary to move the process forward for both creating opportunity for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan but also ensuring a stable future Pakistan,” he said.

“Pakistan needs to, I think, take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they are confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organisations that find safe haven inside of Pakistan. So we want to work closely Pakistan to create a more stable and secure Pakistan as well.”