The United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said America may soon carry out drone strikes in Pakistan as part of its new regional strategy to stabilise Afghanistan, The Hindu reported. His comments came a day after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving refuge to terrorists.
“We are going to attack terrorists wherever they live, and we have put people on notice that if you are harbouring and providing safe haven to terrorists, be warned,” he said. “Be forewarned. And we’re going to engage with those who are providing safe haven and ask them to change what they’re doing and help us help them.”
Tillerson also said that “India was emerging as a very important regional strategic partner” of the US and that they would seek its help to change Pakistan’s behaviour.
“India and Pakistan, they have their own issues that they have to continue to work through,” he said. “But I think there are areas where perhaps even India can take some steps of rapprochement on issues with Pakistan to improve the stability within Pakistan...”
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif is expected to visit Washington DC soon. Tillerson said matters like US aid to Pakistan and its status as a non-NATO ally will be discussed when the two countries begin formal talks.