Tillerson’s visit


Before visiting Pakistan, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday to discuss Washington’s new strategy with President Ashraf Ghani.
Tillerson reiterated the US commitment to working with the Kabul government and regional partners “to achieve peace in Afghanistan and deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal”, said a US embassy statement posted on Twitter.
The meeting took place at Bagram Airfield, America’s largest base in Afghanistan, as the resurgent Taliban step up attacks on Afghan police and troops in response to the US strategy announced in August.
It was Tillerson’s first trip to Afghanistan as secretary of state and comes several weeks after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis also paid an unannounced visit.
Recent development shows that Pak-US relations are heading towards thaw as President Donald Trump had announced that US and Pakistani officials had secured the release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children from Taliban captivity.
The Pakistan Army’s media wing had confirmed the rescue and recovery of five foreign nationals in an intelligence-based operation.
According to report, The US leader identified the kidnapped couple as Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, and said their release was a positive moment for US relations with Pakistan.
This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region, said a statement released by the White House.
US intelligence services had been tracking the movement of the hostages and informed their Pakistani partners when the hostages were moved across the Pak-Afghan border into Kurram agency on October 11, 2017.
The operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence by US authorities, successfully recovered the hostages.
Pakistan then proceeded to display its displeasure at Trump’s remarks and postponed a visit by US acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells. The people of Afghanistan are badly suffering due to prevailing decade’s long wars and instability. The situation in Afghanistan has considerably deteriorated as the Taliban continue to target US and Afghan installations. Afghanistan problem needs concrete, durable and result oriented dialogue among all stakeholders by keeping the interests of Afghanistan more supreme. After more than sixteen years of military operation, the situation could not be controlled and no tangible results could be achieved. Potential thaw in Pak-US relations is welcoming and we hope sincere efforts will be initiated to resolve the Afghanistan Issue because the resolution of the issue is imperative for the peace and stability of the region.


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