Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi on Tuesday at a meeting with the U.S Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, restated the country’s commitment in the fight against terrorism.
He said that his country had “produced results” in combating Islamist militants in the region.
Relations between allies U.S and Pakistan have frayed in recent years, with Washington accusing Islamabad of turning a blind eye or helping Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network militants who stage attacks in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, however, denies doing so.
President Donald Trump has vowed to get tough with Pakistan unless it changed its behaviour, with U.S. officials threatening further reductions in aid and mooting targeted sanctions against Pakistani officials.
Mr. Tillerson, on a tour of Asia and the Middle East, arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday and met with Mr. Abbasi, as well as Pakistan’s Army Chief, Qamar Bajwa.
“We are committed in the war against terror, we have produced results.
“We are looking forward to moving ahead with the U.S. and building a tremendous relationship,” Mr. Abbasi told Mr. Tillerson, as the two men sat facing each other on a long table.
During a short part of the meeting available to media, Mr. Tillerson told the Pakistani delegation that the nuclear-armed nation was an important U.S. ally in the region.
“Pakistan is important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship.
“As well as support for the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, another sticking point in the relationship has been growing closeness by the United States to India, Pakistan’s arch-foe and neighbor,’’ Mr. Tillerson said.
Mr. Tillerson said last week that the Trump administration wanted to “dramatically deepen” cooperation with New Delhi, partly to offset Chinese influence in Asia.
Mr. Trump has also called for greater Indian role in Afghanistan.
However, this deepening in ties has alarmed Pakistan, which has rejected a greater political role for India for Afghanistan as a “red line” for Islamabad.