US confirms Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Pakistan

  • Tillerson would also visit India before arriving in Islamabad
  • Pakistan had requested a bilateral meeting in US before the Tllerson's visit for which FM Khawaja Asif visited New York
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WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be embarking on his Asia tour comprising a visit to Pakistan and India as well, said a State Department official on Wednesday.

The complete schedule of Tillerson’s pivotal visit has not been revealed although it was confirmed that the Trump administration official would arrive in New Delhi next week.

Tillerson’s visit would be the first ever to Pakistan after the announcement of Donald Trump’s harsh policy regarding South-Asia accusing Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists.

Detailing the nature of ties between the Asian countries and US, the official disclosed that America’s relationship with India does not come at the expense of Pakistan or vice versa.

‘The things that the US can do to help alleviate some of the tensions on Pakistan’s borders around Afghanistan and in India,’ the official said.

“When the president gave his remarks about Pakistan, he talked about a lot of the positive aspects of the bilateral relationship. US and Pakistani military have worked together against common enemies,” the official added.

He went on and noted that the Pakistani people faced the brunt of terrorism.

“We have many common interests and common enemies in the region when it comes to our bilateral discussions with Pakistan which was with the Secretary (of State) will be talking about (during his Pakistan trip),” the official observed.

It bears mentioning that the relationship between Pakistan and US became fraught after Donald Trump unleashed a tirade of allegations against Pakistan in his August 22 speech, accusing it of supporting militants.

After the speech, Pakistan’s Foreign minister visited the US and negated the scathing allegations hurled by POTUS while urging that a meeting should be scheduled in the US before Tany US delegation could land in Islamabad.

On Wednesday, US Vice President Mike Pence spoke to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the phone to thank him on behalf of the US government for the rescue of the Canadian-American couple. Pence also accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan in the near future.