US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a brief, unannounced visit to Kabul on Monday.
Kabul: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who made a brief, unannounced visit to Kabul on Monday, has said that India has a positive role to play to achieve peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
“We believe India has very important positive role they can play in process to achieve peaceful and stable Afghanistan. They (India) already are providing important economic activity and creating jobs, which is important for future Afghanistan.” he said.
On Pakistan’s role, Tillerson said, “Made specific requests of Pakistan in order for them to act to undermine support Taliban and other terror organisations receive in Pakistan. Pakistan needs to take clear view of situation they are confronted with in terms of number of terrorists groups that find safe haven inside Pakistan.”
He added, “We want to work closely with Pakistan to create a more stable and secure Pakistan as well. Our relation with Pakistan will also be conditions based, it will be based upon whether they take action that we feel as necessary to move process forward of creating opportunity for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan and also ensuring stable future of Pakistan,” ANI reported.
At the same time, US Secretary of State reaffirmed the US` commitment to working with the Afghan government and partners in the region to achieve peace in Afghanistan and “deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal”.
Tillerson`s visit, ahead of his visit to Doha, Qatar, and Pakistan, was shrouded in secrecy and comes amid a spike in Taliban violence in the country, that has claimed around 200 lives in the past week.
Tillerson, who was in Kabul for just over two hours, met President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah and National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar. He then departed for Doha.
According to a US Embassy statement, Secretary Tillerson and President Ghani met in Kabul and together reaffirmed the US-Afghan commitment to achieving peace, stability and long-term prosperity in Afghanistan.
In related news, the CIA has decided to send in small, experienced teams to Afghanistan to hunt down Taliban commanders – a move that has been welcomed by the Afghan government, as per IANS.
The Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Monday welcomed the move by the United States` Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to ramp up efforts to target Taliban leaders and commanders in Afghanistan, Tolo reported.
The top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has said based on the new US strategy for Afghanistan, not only will the pressure be increased on insurgents, but the countries that support them will also come under serious pressure.
President Trump outlined a revamped strategy for Afghanistan in August, with measures including more troops, lifting restrictions on commanders in the field imposed by the Obama administration, and increasing pressure on Pakistan to stop providing a safe haven to militant groups along its border.