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Tillerson Affirms Afghanistan Commitments In Unannounced Visit

25 October 2017

He was then driven in a convoy of Land Cruisers amid tight security to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad's diplomatic enclave, before meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the powerful military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and other top officials.

Pakistan has acknowledged that it has some influence with the Taliban, but says it does not control the movement or its leaders.

Tillerson's visit to Afghanistan set social media aflutter Tuesday after Afghan officials released a photo that had seemingly been doctored to disguise the fact that it took place at Bagram, a secure military base, rather than Kabul, which was hit by multiple militant attacks last week.

"I think the USA has made it clear in terms of our support for Afghanistan, support for a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, charting a path to peace, prosperity, and self-reliance".

"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 organizations that find safe haven inside of Pakistan", he said.

US Secretary of the State said that Pakistan is an important country in the region.

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Last week, American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan five years ago, were rescued, along with their three children born in captivity, from the Haqqani network in Pakistan's Kurram Agency bordering Afghanistan.

US officials have long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye or assisting the Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network.

Tillerson, who will visit India after Pakistan, is in South Asia to outline the Trump administration's new strategy for the region, which is heavy on combating extremist groups. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also visited Washington, where he met Secretary Tillerson.

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, ahead of his maiden visit to Pakistan on Tuesday, suggested that he will tell the hosts to cease to provide safe havens to terror groups and terrorists on its soil to better bilateral relations with America. He said the bilateral cooperation in security between the two countries should be enhanced.

It was reported that during his a day-long visit Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will allegedly meet President Ram Nath Kovind.

Tillerson Affirms Afghanistan Commitments In Unannounced Visit